PAUL WHATUIRA faces Great Britain at the Galpharm determined to show Giants fans exactly what they’ll be getting in Super League XIII.
The classy centre earns his 13th New Zealand cap in Saturday’s first Gillette Fusion Test (6.15) just weeks after signing a three-year contract with Jon Sharp’s play-off side.
The 26-year-old, who played for New Zealand Warriors, Melbourne Storm and Penrith before joining Wests Tigers, knows he could be up against fellow Giants Stephen Wild and David Hodgson this weekend.
But his focus will be on helping the Kiwis take a lead in the series by impressing on his new home ground.
“We’ve been preparing well all week and now I’m really looking forward to it,” said Whatuira, who visited the Galpharm yesterday to meet club staff.
“I’ve played here at the Galpharm before in the Tri Series and the World Club Challenge and it’s a great place when it’s packed, but now I’m a Huddersfield player it’s going to be even better.
“It will be a tough game because Great Britain have got quality players all over the park and they are at home, so it’s up to us to make sure we are on our game and ready to do battle. I’m sure we will be.”
Whatuira, who has already spoken at length with coach Sharp about next season, played alongside Jamahl Lolesi, John Skandalis and Shane Elford in Australia.
“They gave me the full rundown on the Giants, about how the club is structured and what a good squad they’ve got and I can’t wait to get started,” said Whatuira.
“I’m concentrating on this series first and then it will be Super League from Christmas onwards. It’s a new challenge for me and a lot of hard work, but I know the Giants are a team on the rise and I’m really looking forward to being a part of it all.
“I’m very grateful for the opportunity to play here for three years because I know there’s a lot of potential at the club – and that’s the main reason I signed.
“The Giants had a very successful season last time and I’m sure we can build and take it all a step further.”