Barrow Raiders forward Ellis Gillam has agreed a new 12-month deal ahead of the 2024 Betfred Championship season.

Gillam arrived at the Raiders ahead of his hometown club’s return to the second tier.

He joined as a back-rower but soon developed into a no-nonsense prop forward under the guidance of head coach Paul Crarey. Gillam made 32 appearance during his debut campaign and scored five tries as the club enjoyed a memorable run to the play-offs.

Last season, a ruptured achilles injury restricted the 26-year-old to just 17 appearances – the last of which came away at Halifax Panthers in June.

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Gillam is now four months post-operation and is expected to resume running over the Christmas period. It is hoped he will near a return to full fitness around March/April.

Away from the pitch, Gillam has also been an integral part of the club’s community outreach work through his role at the club’s award-winning Advantage! Barrow Raiders Community Foundation – recognised for its contribution to the local area at the inaugural RL Awards last month.

On signing his new deal, Gillam said: “It feels great to get this deal sorted. The club supported me as I’ve been coming back from a big injury, and I’m in a good place now.

“Watching games like Whitehaven and Bradford away from the sidelines, it just made me hungrier to return. When I am able to get back out there, I’m not going to take things for granted. I’m a fan as well as a player, and I’ll give my all for this club.”

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Barrow Raiders head coach Paul Crarey said: “It’s great news that Ellis Gillam has signed for another season. Before his injury, Ellis was proving himself to be one of the top middles in the Championship.

“He has been working hard on his rehab in an exemplary manner, and it will be great to have Ellis back out there playing for his hometown club.”

Director of rugby Andy Gaffney said: “We knew the calibre of player we were going to get when Ellis first joined the club, and he quickly developed into one of our most influential figures as we reached the play-offs in 2022.

“Losing him for a large chunk of last season was a big blow to the squad, but we all know that a fit-and-firing Ellis Gillam is an asset to any team at Championship level and we are all really excited to see him return next year.”

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