Kevin Naiqama keen to deliver Ian Watson’s big plans at Huddersfield Giants

IAN WATSON says he brought Kevin Naiqama to Huddersfield Giants for his experience of winning, and the player himself is well up for the challenge of making the club champions.

Naiqama is among the headline additions in their impressive off-season recruitment, which has brought nine new players to the John Smith’s Stadium.

After a third-place finish in Super League last term, coupled with reaching the Challenge Cup Final, Huddersfield are aiming to go even better in 2023.

And Fiji international Naiqama, a three-time title winner with St Helens who has returned to the UK after a season with Sydney Roosters, will play a key role.

“Kevin Naiqama was the older experience I felt we needed with losing someone like Ricky (Leutele),” said Watson of the 33-year-old.

“From being at top clubs like St Helens and Sydney Roosters, he knows what it takes to win. He’s been a champion and knows what it takes. 

“Hopefully he can bring that over here and show some of our younger players.”

For Naiqama, Watson’s plans to turn the Giants into trophy winners was a major draw.

“I wanted to be a part of building a successful legacy,” he told The Yorkshire Post.

“Making a move back to the other side of the world, it’s not to come and make up time. We want to make every day count.

“I want to go back with some silverware. That’s my goal and purpose of coming here.”

Huddersfield suffered a blow to their pre-season preparations when their pre-season game against Bradford Bulls had to be postponed the weekend before last.

That was despite a late attempt to switch venue from Odsal to Dewsbury’s FLAIR Stadium, with both pitches proving to be unplayable because of the winter freeze.

The Giants still have two further pre-season matches planned, against Castleford Tigers this Sunday in Nathan Massey’s testimonial game, and the following Sunday (February 12) at home to Dewsbury Rams.