By Richard Sykes
Huddersfield Rugby Union captain Lewis Bradley is leaving the club to join Sedgley Park Tigers for their forthcoming campaign.
Having been approached by the National 2 North champions in the close season he has decided to step up a level and ply his trade in the third tier of English rugby.
The 26-year-old has been a one club man, having started playing as a seven-year-old in Huddersfield RUFC’s impressive Age Grade.
He progressed to senior rugby via the Academy team in his late teens and took over the captaincy of the First XV in 2021.
Bradley said: “My decision to leave Huddersfield was one I thought long and hard about. It was one of the hardest I’ve had to make in my life. I’ve been with the club since I was a pup and have always been treated with the greatest respect.
“Playing National 1 is something I’ve always wanted to do and when Sedgley Park approached me with the opportunity to do so I felt I had to take it.
“It seems the right time in my career and although I have loved playing for Huddersfield I feel I can’t miss out on the chance of playing at the higher level.”
The versatile back rower goes to Sedgley Park with an impressive rugby pedigree and will offer the north Manchester club a lot of options.
As a player he is an explosive and highly mobile ball carrier who never fails to make good yards in his games. He is also a prolific try scorer.
Last year he was one of Huddersfield’s three joint top scorers, an honour he shared with the Stewart brothers who play on the wings. He is also very comfortable playing at hooker, a position he occupied throughout his Academy years.
Bradley has represented Yorkshire at junior and senior levels, picking up two National Championship Under 20 Cup wins with the county at Twickenham. Last season he played for the senior side in Division 1 of the Bill Beaumont Cup series and was disappointed to miss out on another trip to Twickenham.
The team won two of their three pool matches handsomely but they lost by a single point in the crucial ‘Roses’ match. Lancashire were narrowly beaten in the final by southern champions, Kent.
Paying tribute to the club he is leaving Bradley said: “I want to say a huge thank you to everyone at Huddersfield for the support they have given me over the years; the committee, coaches and supporters and lastly all the players I have had the privilege of taking the field with.
“I feel as if I’ve given 110% every time I’ve played and I’ve loved wearing the Huddersfield shirt and been proud to captain the team.”
Bradley works as an inspector for the Food Standards Agency and lives with his partner Danielle in Slaithwaite.
The couple have a two-year-old daughter, Betsy Willow, and are expecting their second child soon.