Leeds Rhinos sign ex-Sunderland FC keeper turned rugby league prop Kieran Hudson from Castleford Tigers
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Prop Hudson is grandson of Leeds legend John Holmes who holds the club record for most appearances with 625 from 1968-89. The 23-year-old has joined Rhinos from Castleford Tigers after previous spells with Newcastle Thunder and Whitehaven.
A former goalkeeper with hometown club Sunderland, Hudson missed the whole 2023 campaign after suffering an Achilles injury in pre-season, but is now fully fit and began training with Rhinos yesterday (Monday).
“I would like to welcome Kieran to the club,” Smith said. “He is one of the most impressive young athletes I have spoken to in recent years. His upbringing in professional football and the hard work he has put in to climb the ladder of professional rugby league show his personal commitment and attitude. I am sure he will fit in well with our group of players.”
Hudson signed for Castleford in February, 2022 on a two-year contract and was immediately loaned back to his previous club Whitehaven. He had been expected to push for a Betfred Super League debut this year, but the injury meant he left Castleford without making a senior appearance.
Hudson, who is understood to have been offered new terms by Tigers, said: “I am excited to be at the Rhinos, the club is a big part of my family and it is great to have finally signed. John Holmes was my grandad. Growing up in Sunderland we probably never really appreciated how massive John had been here at Leeds, but we always knew about it in the background.
“I always remember asking him about whether he would take us to a game and he always joked that he couldn’t go because he would be too tempted to pull his boots on again.”
Hudson added: “I started playing football for Sunderland from when I was nine until I was 16 then moved to rugby league with Newcastle. Any professional team you have to work hard to get where you want to be. From a young age I have had that professionalism ingrained in me and I am ready to work hard for myself and my family.”