Chris McQueen is ready to prove he’s still got what it takes to earn a Super League contract next year.
The 33-year-old has joined Huddersfield Giants on a short-term contract and could make his debut in the club’s contest with Leeds Rhinos on Friday.
An NRL champion with South Sydney and a State of Origin winner with Queensland, the England international has struggled for game time in the past three seasons, playing just ten NRL games since the start of the 2018 season.
He has now set his sights on continuing his career in the UK and hopes the opportunity to showcase his talents will earn him a contract next season.
“I feel like this is on me to earn a contract for the coming years,” he said.
“I don’t want to pack up playing at the end of this season, so this is a chance for me to prove I’m worthy of a contract next year.
“I don’t expect any handouts or to have anything given to me. I want to earn my spot in the team and earn a future contract. I’ve not played a lot of football this year but I’m ready to prove I’m still good enough.”
The Giants have made no guarantees about his future next year, with McQueen currently with the club until the end of the season.
But the opportunity was too good for him to turn down and, despite being short of match fitness, he’s eager to get to grips with the competition.
“I was certainly interested in having a look at an opportunity over here next season, but this has pushed it forward a bit.
“I think Simon (Woolford) knows a few of the coaching staff at Wests; he was asking about me and I said I’d definitely be interested. I was going through the process of obtaining a UK passport and the club was great in helping get that fast-tracked, so I could play this year.
“The boys not playing at Wests have been doing a pre-season the whole time, so that base level of fitness is there. It might take one or two games to get those connections with my new team-mates, but I’m ready to go.
“The thought of coming to Super League has always been there but I’ve never pursued it in the past; this was the first genuine opportunity to have a crack at it and I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead this year.”
McQueen’s time in the NRL saw him make 164 appearances, winning the Premiership with South Sydney in 2014.
He was an ever-present during two State of Origin series, winning with Queensland in 2013.
His arrival comes at a perfect time for Giants coach Woolford, who was down to 16 fit players in their game with St Helens on Friday.
Kenny Edwards was the Giants’ 17th man but didn’t come onto the field as he remains injured.
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