AARON MURPHY is ready to battle for his life to make sure he makes a major Huddersfield Giants’ Super League breakthrough in 2013.
The 24-year-old former Wakefield Trinity Wildcats utility back knows he face the toughest of competition to make the 17 to travel to St Helens for the Super League XVIII opener on Saturday, February 2.
Scott Grix is expected to get the first shot at full-back, with Luke George and Jermaine McGillvary on the wings, and Leroy Cudjoe and Joe Wardle in the centres.
But Murphy is determined to make sure that’s not the case, and isn’t bothered who’s place he takes.
“I’m happy playing anywhere in the backs, and Baloo (head coach Paul Anderson) knows that,” said Murphy.
“I played a dozen games last season, and filled in mainly at full-back and wing, and I felt I went okay.
“But with the quality of the backs we’ve got in the squad, I know it won’t be easy building on that 2012 tally, although beating that mark next season is one of my initial targets.
“The fact I picked up a couple of injuries last season obviously didn’t help me, and that restricted the number of times I got to play.
“But I feel really good now, the body’s in good shape and I’m enjoying the pre-season work we’ve been doing.
“It’s just a case of working as hard as possible and trying to impress the coaching staff and convince them I should be in the starting side sooner rather than later.”
Murphy admits he’s finding the training regime under Anderson tough.
But he knows it could reap major benefits further down the line.
“Baloo has tweaked a few things in training,” added Murphy, who has been handed the No18 shirt in the Giants squad numbers announced this week.
“As a result, it is a bit different to last pre-season, but that’s good.
“I know I’m still learning the game, and the more different things we do, the better it’ll be for me.
“The key to playing more regularly is obviously to keep on improving, and that’s what I intend to do.
“It is a big challenge, but I’m ready to do whatever it takes.”