IAN WATSON is still going down the tried and trusted route as he reshapes his Huddersfield squad for 2022.
Having signed Tonga international Tui Lolohea on a two-year deal, the Giants coach continues to be linked with another halfback he worked with at Salford – St Helens’ French star Theo Fages.
Watson already has ex-Red Devils Josh Jones and Luke Yates in the camp, and next season will be able to call on their fellow ex-Salford forward Sebastine Ikahihifo.
The Kiwi prop joined Huddersfield from St George Illawarra Dragons in 2016, but has been on loan at the Red Devils for the last two seasons.
Now he has been recalled, meaning he will play alongside Lolohea for a third club, after the duo were together at New Zealand Warriors.
Lolohea, who has played once for New Zealand and twelve times for Tonga, helping them reach the 2017 World Cup semi-finals, also played for Wests Tigers before joining Leeds in 2019.
He made 17 Rhinos appearances before before Salford signed him in a swap deal involving Rob Lui.
He went on to help the Red Devils reach both the 2019 Grand Final and 2020 Challenge Cup final with Watson at the helm.
“I know Ian and his philosophy and what he wants from the team,” explained Lolohea.
“I’m close with him, and I’m looking forward to winning and trying to get some silverware.”
Watson, who has also signed props Chris Hill and Nathan Mason from Warrington and Leigh respectively, while agreeing a two-year contract extension with 23-year-old frontrower Matty English, said: “We know what Tui is good at – running the football and breaking into open space.
“He’s got unbelievable footwork. He’s also a strong boy – If you get him in open space, there’s not too many that can stop him.
“When he gets his eyes up and plays off the cuff, he’s a great player to have in your side. I trust him and what he does. We’ve built a great relationship.”
While Aidan Sezer is joining Leeds and Lee Gaskell is moving to Wakefield, the Giants still have halfback options in Jack Cogger, Will Pryce and Oliver Russell.