12th February 2018


Jon Luke Kirby looks ahead to the season opener against Wigan Warriors

Foster Care


Age: 19

Weight: 106kgs

Height: 189cm/6ft3ins

Nicknames: “Jon or JLK”

Favoured position: “Prop. I like playing front-row.”

Rugby idol: “I have always been a fan of Sean O’Laughlin but looking closer to home Ryan Hinchcliffe is a great professional player and I can really relate to some of the things he says. If you look at some of the things he does and follow them, you’re not going to go far wrong.”



Huddersfield Giants Under 19s begin their 2018 season on Thursday 15th February against Wigan Warriors, kick off 7pm at Lockwood Park.

Having defeated Wakefield Trinity 36-18 away from home in their pre-season friendly last Thursday, a game in which Jon Luke Kirby scored a brace, the young forward caught up with about their season opener against Wigan:

“I think it’s going to be a tough game but we’re all looking forward to it. We’ve had a long pre-season and have done plenty of preparation so we know what to expect. It’s always the same when you play Wigan, always a tough and physical match but we played well in the friendly against Wakefield and it gave us some confidence going into this game, so we’re all looking forward to the match.

“The games are definitely entertaining for the supporters. There’s some great quality games. Last year there were some really close games with great quality, we’d go for 20 minutes without errors and it would be a really end to end match. It’s quick, fast and it’s exciting. It’s great to watch and it’s great to play in so it makes a fantastic game to watch for spectators.

“It’s always nice getting over but it’s part of the parcel of the game. It’s mainly how we play together, as a team. The Wakefield game was really encouraging, I thought we played well and there were plenty of positives to take. As always there was a few things that we could work on but for the first run out together it was very positive and I think we’re looking good.”

“For my playing style I just like to work as hard as I can and get through as much work as I can to help the boys in any way that I can. I try to get about and make sure that I do my job to the best of my ability, like winning the ruck and getting some quick plays of the ball, just focusing on what’s my job and making everyone else’s job a lot easier.”

“One of my favourite games I’ve played in was Wigan away last year. We came just short, I think it ended 24-20, but the effort that we put in and the way we played was absolutely spot on. It was a shame not to win but we were winning for large parts and it was just a great game to play in as it was tough and end to end.”

Academy Head Coach, Luke Robinson, will be taking charge of the Under 19s for his second full season and Kirby is pleased with the team’s development under the former Giants star:

“Robbo is brilliant, he’s a great Coach for us. I think there’s been loads of improvement over pre-season and the things that Robbo has changed has helped bring us on massively. You can see the individual progression that Robbo has brought about for all the players and I think he’s made a big difference.”

Kirby believes the young Giants side contains a lot of talent and feels there are plenty that could make the step up to first-team in the future:

“There’s a few teammates that I really enjoy playing alongside. I’ve pretty much grown up with Sam Hewitt, we went to school together and we’ve played amateur together so Sam Hewitt is probably my favourite teammate to play with.

“There’s loads of really good players here, all the third years have been here a while and most of us have been playing for four or five years with the Giants. There’s some high quality players with good attitudes but if I had to pick one player who will be the next to make it to the first-team then I’m going to go for Jack Flynn. He plays at hooker and is a second year but works really hard and has improved loads since he’s been here.”

Kirby also Captains the Giants side and is very proud of the honour:

“It means a lot being able to Captain the side. It’s great to be able to lead the lads out. I’ve been here for about five years and have always played with Matty English, who would normally Captain us, but when I get the chance it’s a great opportunity and something I’m really proud of.”

The address for Lockwood Park is:

Lockwood Park

Brewery Drive




Admission prices are:

£3 - Adult Giants Season Ticket Holder

£3.50 - Adult

£2 - Concession Giants Season Ticket Holder

£2.50 - Concessions

U16 - Free of charge









Heikki Kovalainen




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