New signing Darnell McIntosh has expressed his excitement for a new challenge with the Black & Whites, having signed from Huddersfield Giants for the 2022 campaign.
As announced earlier this morning, the 24-year old winger will make the move from West Yorkshire to the MKM Stadium next season having signed a three-year deal with the club.
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With 47 tries to his name in 100 career appearances since his debut in 2017, the England Knights international finds himself as one of the league’s current hottest prospects.
Speaking his first interview since signing for the club, McIntosh said: “I’m really happy that the news is finally out there that I’m going to be playing in Black & White next season – as soon as the opportunity came across and I had the discussions with the club, I knew it was the right opportunity for me and I’m so pleased that the deal has been done!
“At this point in my career, I feel like it’s a great move for me. I know there is a lot of hard work ahead to get the rewards I’m hoping for, but I’m determined to do that and repay the club for the faith they have put in me.
“I’ve come through the ranks at Huddersfield and been in the system for over a decade since I was 13. I’ve had a lot of opportunities there and worked hard to get to a point where some people thought I would not get to – I’ve worked hard for that, but I feel like it’s time for me to kick on now with a new challenge and reach my new goals at a great club like Hull with a good environment.
He added: “I made my debut when I was 19 and I’ve already reached 100 professional games, so now felt like the right time for me to sit back and reassess the direction my career is heading in. I don’t want to finish my career in years to come with any regrets, so I felt this was a good chance to kick on and move out of my comfort zone a little bit, and this felt like the right fit.”
The Huddersfield-born star explained he had several options for next season, including remaining at the John Smith’s Stadium, but explained that the Airlie Birds seemed the right decision for the next steps in his career.
“I had a few options, with staying at Huddersfield being one of them – it wasn’t an easy decision to leave the club after so long, but having explored my options, weighed everything up with my family and friends, this felt like the right and natural fit for me.
“I came away from my meetings with Brett feeling really comfortable and excited for the challenge ahead.
He added: “The club has a great fan base and a really positive culture which I’m keen to be a part of – it’s a real team environment and everyone at the club has a real togetherness. I want to come in and feed off that energy to help me do my job to the best I possibly can.
“It’s a team that should be up there at the top and winning silverware, and that’s one of the big reasons I’m coming here because I really believe Hull has a squad capable of doing that.”
McIntosh will come into the squad next season and bolster an impressive back division, and explained fellow former Giants product Jake Connor is one man in particular he is keen to link up with on the field.
“I was coming through the Academy when Jake Connor was still at Huddersfield, so being an outside-back, I’m really excited to link up with him now he’s made his move to full-back.
“And we’ve got some centres in the squad too in the form of Josh Griffin and Carlos Tuimavave who I’m excited to form some partnerships with – I’m still relatively young in terms of my playing career, and hopefully I can learn from their experience.
“They’ve been there in those big games and have a great attitude, and being surrounded by these sorts of players can only be beneficial.”
Capable of filling in at both full-back and centre, McIntosh brings utility value to the Black & Whites, as well as some electric speed and acrobatic try-scoring ability.
“I’ve always played in a few positions in the outside-backs. In my first few seasons at Huddersfield I played the majority of my time at full-back; I’ve moved more onto the wing now but have also spent some time at centre.
“I like to see myself as an athletic player, but I’ve learnt that it’s not just the fancy footwork – you need to be able to take those tough carries too and help your teammates get on the frontfoot. That’s something I’ve started to develop more over the last few years.”
The outside back also expressed his desire to continue his association with the England Knight setup, in which he was named in both 2019 and 2021, and believes he can use the next three years at Hull to take the next step towards becoming a full England international.
“I got my first taste of rugby outside of Huddersfield at an elite level within that England Knights squad back in 2019, and I really enjoyed it. I learnt a lot from that experience and it really opened up my eyes. I feel like I’ve played some good rugby since then and I’d like to push on
“I’ve been surrounded by some top players who have been involved in the international setup at Huddersfield with the likes of Jermaine McGillvary who’s been involved for years and Jake Wardle who’s making the step-up now too. But then you look at Hull you’ve got a lot of potential international players over there too – so surrounding myself with those players will make me push myself every day, and hopefully knock on the door of the England first team at some point over the next few years.”