Huddersfield Giants hooker Ryan Hinchcliffe admits he’s looking forward to squaring off against a player he’s admired for years in his Super League debut this Friday.
The Giants face the ominous task of travelling to St Helens in the first game of the 2016 season, which means an exciting tussle at hooker between Hinchcliffe and England international James Roby.
And Hinchcliffe admits it’s a battle that he’s excited for.
“It will be a good challenge for me, there’s no doubt about that,” he said.
“I’ve obviously watched him a fair bit for St Helens and England over the years and I’m a big admirer of him.
“He’s a great player; an extremely tough little player who defends really well – and he’s quite explosive out of dummy-half as well. I’m looking forward to that challenge when it comes.”
Hinchcliffe admits the challenge of playing permanently at hooker excites him – having previously filled in there for Cameron Smith when the Melbourne star has been away on State of Origin duty.
“I am looking forward to playing nine,” he admits.
“Obviously, I have predominantly played 13 for the last four or five years at Melbourne but I played a little bit at nine when Cameron was in State of Origin and things like that.
“I’ve obviously trained there a fair bit so I’m comfortable in that position and I think that’s the role I’ll be filling over here – and probably a little bit of time at 13 at some stage as well.”
Hinchcliffe arrives with plenty of big-game experience from the NRL, and he outlined one area in particular in which the Giants need to be on the money if 2016 is to be a year to remember.
“It’s about consistency, that’s the big thing.
“You can’t expect to be up and down throughout the year and then come the big games and not mimic what you did before, so you have to be as consistent as you can throughout the year regardless of whichever side you are playing – one at the top of the ladder or at the bottom, you must be consistent with what you are doing.
“Generally, if you are doing that then you give yourself the best chance of winning the big games at the end of the year as you are in that state of mind where it doesn’t matter what the opposition does, you just concentrate on yourself.”