Huddersfield Giants reject Leeds Rhinos loan move for Jake Connor, confirms Ian Watson

Ian Watson has revealed that Huddersfield Giants have turned down interest from Leeds Rhinos in out-of-favour playmaker Jake Connor.

The Huddersfield boss last week refused to rule out a loan move for Connor, who has not started a game since last month's Challenge Cup semi-final defeat against Warrington Wolves.

Leeds enquired about his availability this week after losing Ash Handley and Harry Newman to injury but saw their approach rejected by the Giants.

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Connor is instead part of Huddersfield’s travelling party for Saturday's clash with Catalans Dragons in Perpignan.

"There was a little bit of interest in that but he's in our squad and is travelling to Catalans with us so there's nothing happening on that right now," said Watson.

Asked if he was open to a loan move for Connor after this weekend, Watson added: "If he's not playing. He's a player who needs and wants to play."

Connor missed only one match prior to the cup loss to Warrington but has been restricted to a brief cameo off the bench against former club Hull FC in the past month.

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Watson has told the former England international that he must earn a recall on the training ground.

Jake Connor finds himself out of the Huddersfield team. (Photo: Allan McKenzie/ Connor finds himself out of the Huddersfield team. (Photo: Allan McKenzie/
Jake Connor finds himself out of the Huddersfield team. (Photo: Allan McKenzie/

"He needs to do what he has been doing – keep his head down, keep working hard and get the respect of everybody with how hard he works and in terms of responding to coming out of the team," said Watson.

"He needs to do it the right way and as anyone else would have to do."

Huddersfield have won only one of their last six Super League games but the clash with the sixth-placed Dragons offers Watson's men the chance to breathe life into their season.

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A victory in the south of France would take the Giants to within two points of the play-off positions with 12 rounds remaining.

Watson has taken the brunt of the fans' frustrations since last year's ninth-place finish but he continues to shrug off the scrutiny over his position.

"There's always pressure on and we're one (win) in six," he said.

"It's the only job that people like to throw stress and pressure on. In other walks of life, people talk about the mental health and the wellbeing of people but for coaches it doesn't seem to come into it.

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"Listen, I love working with the guys. I don't look at social media, I don't read it. It's for people to express their opinions and say what they want on that front.

"I want to do my best for the players to support them and get a win. I know we've got a good group of players here and if they're all committed and working as a team, I'll back it.

"If that means pressure comes on top because we're not getting results, that's something I can't control and can't stress over."

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