14 Dec 2021

Centre stage for Fages

A player who quietly went under the radar in a star-studded St Helens team, Theo Fages will take centre stage at Huddersfield Giants in 2022. 

At 27 years old, the Frenchman is in the prime of his career and is an astute acquisition to Ian Watson’s Huddersfield squad - the half back plays with bundles of energy and effort which is complemented by an uncompromising and gritty attitude on the field.

He learned his trade under mercurial half-back Sean Long, the Leeds Rhinos assistant who mentored Fages during his coaching stints at both St Helens and Salford Red Devils.

And it shows. The combative, competitive Fages is widely admired in the game, not least by his former mentor who describes him as “a tough little rooster”. Fages toughness is matched by some of the subtler aspects of his game, such as his innate ability to create opportunities for the players around him.

Predictably enough, at just 5ft 5inches, Fages is frequently targeted in defence and is often swarmed by the opposing attack – but his defence is one of his greatest assets. 

Before his season was cruelly cut short last year after suffering a shoulder injury during St Helens' Challenge Cup Final victory – a game which Fages opened the scoring in – he averaged 22 tackles per game during his 10 Betfred Super League appearances, with a standout 41 tackle effort against Warrington Wolves in June.

The half back also packs a punch with ball in hand, too. As captain of the French national side, Fages has matured over recent years into a competent playmaker who, alongside his strong defence and running ability, possesses a dangerous short kicking game.

His ability - and bravery - to play close to the line has proved to be a real point of difference in Fages’ game, with the half back making 55 attacking kicks during the 2021 regular season - more than any other Saints player. His creativity close to the line will be a recognisable loss to the Saints attack in 2022 and beyond, but a real asset to his new Giants side.

Alongside Tui Lolohea, Ian Watson possesses a half back pairing that can take Huddersfield forward next year. Lolohea’s long kicking game and support play will be complemented by Fages ability to organise, take the line on and create chances close to the opposition try line. Fages returned on average one try assist per game last season and will add a creative edge to the Giants attack.  

It is no surprise that Fages’ success has stemmed from hard work both on and off the pitch. The Frenchman moved to England at 16 and spoke little to no English. Now 27, he is much more fluent in the language and on the pitch. Expect a big year from the little Frenchman.

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