Halifax Panthers are delighted to announce the re-signing of long serving fullback James Woodburn-Hall on a two year deal until the end of the 2024 season.
The 27 year old has been with Fax since 2016 having previously played in Super League with London Broncos and had no hesitation in committing his future to the Panthers.
“I’m absolutely buzzing to sign a new deal with the club”, said Woodburn-Hall. “I’ve been here a while now and I make no secret about it, I love playing here. I’m starting to see some of my better rugby as well in the last couple of years playing in that full back position so I’m very happy, very content, and just happy to be playing constantly.”
The multi-talented former England Students International initially struggled to nail down a position for the first few years of his Fax career, featuring in every position across the back line and even at loose forward. But it was the 2021 season where he made the full-back position his own, shifting the returning Scott Grix to half back such was his success in this position leading to Coach Simon Grix giving ‘Woody’ the number 1 jersey for the 2022 season.
And the Panthers head coach was more than happy to have Woodburn-Hall in his arsenal for another two years.
“We’re really happy that Woody is staying with us. It was a very quick and easy discussion. I think he’s come on leaps and bounds and I think he’s found his home at full back after years of a utility role. He’s got a lot of athleticism and craft there to make it look as easy as he does at times both offensively and defensively. He’s learned a lot during his time here and having Scott (Grix) as a mentor has been really good for Woody. He’s finally seeing the fruit of his patience now, I suppose. He deserves a new contract and it also gives us stability to know what our spine will look like moving forward.”
“He’s been brilliant this year, he’s playing really confident. He’s been freakish and unplayable at times so I’m really happy he’s on board with our team. This will take him to 9 seasons at Halifax with the two year deal, which is great for him and great for our club to have another long term servant.”
There have been many great moments in Woodburn-Hall’s Fax career so far, but no doubt the high point was a 20 minute match winning cameo in the 2019 Challenge Cup Quarter-Final against Bradford Bulls at Odsal. His strength and offload leading to a try for Scott Grix, before sidestepping and dummying his way through the Bulls defence for one of the all time classic Challenge Cup tries, earning himself the Man of the Match award in the process.
His performances for the Panthers have earnt Woodburn-Hall selection for the Jamaican national side and will no doubt be featuring for the Reggae Warriors in the upcoming 2022 Rugby League World Cup.
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