JACK MURCHIE knows if he can be anywhere near as popular as the man he’s replacing in the Huddersfield back row, he’ll have done a decent job.
The 26-year-old Aussie has made his first move to England by signing a three-year deal with the Giants.
He’s one of nine new faces at the club for 2024 but with 45 NRL appearances under his belt, with Canberra, New Zealand Warriors and Parramatta, he’s one fans will expect to make an impact.
Even more so when Murchie, alongside fellow recruit Andre Savelio, who has come from Hull FC, has to help fill a back row now shorn of the experience of Chris McQueen.
An NRL winner with South Sydney, McQueen retired at the end of the 2023 as a huge fans’ favourite in Huddersfield after four exceptional seasons in Super League.
“Crispy was a great player when he was here and he was a great player back in Australia,” said Murchie.
“I’m just focused on myself and I’ll go in and play the way I play. Hopefully I’ll turn into a fan favourite too.”
McQueen was a prolific try-scorer for the Giants, scoring 35 times in 83 matches, and Murchie hopes to do likewise.
“I like scoring tries,” he added, setting a target of at least five for the year, “and I want to bring lots of energy and effort in defence too.”
Murchie has played under some top coaches so far in his career, including a “legend” in former Kangaroos star Michael Cronin as a youngster at Gerringong.
His club career has seen him come under the influence of Ricky Stuart, ex-Giants coach Nathan Brown and Brad Arthur, and now he will be working under Ian Watson.
“I just wanted to experience some new stuff. I’d been playing in the NRL for six years and I wanted to go somewhere new and challenge myself,” said Murchie.
“I think it’ll be pretty similar to the NRL (in Super League). I’m really enjoying being coached by Watto (Watson). He’s been really good.
“My main goal would be to win the comp with Huddersfield. It would be really awesome to achieve.”