Get all your news in one place
100’s of premium titles. One news app. Zero ads. Just $10 per month.
Daily Mirror

Jermaine McGillvary putting Premier League giants to one side to focus on Challenge Cup

He has a son playing for Manchester City, another just signed for Manchester United and he’s a Liverpool fan who’s desperate to end up at Spurs.

But forget football, most of all, Huddersfield Giants’ Jermaine McGillvary just wants to finally win a major rugby league trophy.

The England winger has torn defences to shreds for years with hometown Huddersfield and was once shortlisted for the Golden Boot as the world’s greatest player. But, just days away from his 34th birthday, he has still yet to even appear in a domestic final let alone win one.

McGillvary hopes to take a big step towards remedying that when Giants take on Hull KR in Saturday’s Betfred Challenge Cup semi-final at Elland Road. The final will be played at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in three weeks’ time. McGillvary said: “I've been in a few Super League and Challenge Cup semis plus the 2017 World Cup final with England.

Huddersfield Giants' Jermaine McGillvary scores against Salford earlier this season (Paul Currie/SWpix.com)

“But I’ve not actually won anything even though I count England caps and touring (with Great Britain) as a pinnacle of my career. I am at that age now where time’s ticking on for me. So I don’t want to miss out on this great opportunity. This is our biggest game for years.”

He’d love to end up at Old Trafford, too, and get Ian Watson’s Huddersfield to a maiden Grand Final. McGillvary was at the Theatre of Dreams on Sunday to see his son Elijah, 8, sign for United. His eldest Isaac, 11, is on the books of City which is all slightly painful for their dad - an ardent Liverpool fan.

McGillvary joked: “I’ve tried to bring my boys up to support Liverpool but it’s not happened! I’m a bit gutted they don’t but as long as they’re loving their sport that’s the main thing. Maybe my youngest Ezra, who’s four, will hopefully sign for Liverpool - the greatest club in the world!

Jermaine McGillvary's son Elijah signs for Manchester United (Jermaine McGillvary)

“Elijah’s done us all proud. He’s worked so hard and with his brother being at City since he was four he’s always been the little brother of Isaac. But now he’s making his own name and doing great things. Hopefully in the next ten years he can make a career out of it. But just the experience they get, like going on tour abroad, is great.”

McGillvary, who won the 2013 League Leaders’ Shield with Giants, is raring to go again after pulling out of last week’s win at Wakefield just hours before kick-off.

Jermaine McGillvary's son Isaac in Manchester City colours (Jermaine McGillvary)

One of many at the club laid low by flu, he recalled: "I was a mess. I looked like a different person. I’ve had Covid and it was worse than that. I was cold but dripping sweat, feeling properly weak. It was weird.

"I trained the day before but the next morning I was bad again. I thought I’d get over it. I was smashing caffeine, paracetamols but it was getting worse. I turned up for the bus and the physio just said ‘Nah, you can’t go on there.’ Watto told me to go home.”

McGillvary is opposite his prolific England team-mate Ryan Hall on Saturday. He said: “Hally’s an absolute legend and a good friend. But all the trophies he’s won at Leeds, I’d be happy with just one of those! He’s quality and one of the nicest guys you could meet - but there’ll be no niceties Saturday.”