Huddersfield Giants new signing Jake Mamo is looking forward to a radical change in his rugby league career.
Head coach Rick Stone handed all Giants supporters an early Christmas present by announcing that Newcastle Knights’ flying full back Mamo had put pen to paper on a two-year contract.
The 22-year-old was Stone’s No1 target signing ahead of the new season and his former Newcastle charge is looking forward to meeting the challenge.
“It is a massive change for me to be coming over to England,” said Mamo.
“I have only ever lived at home, so playing footy in England is a big step, but an adventure I have been wanting for a long time.
“I have known Rick since I started out at Newcastle Knights and we have always had a good relationship.
“The first time we worked together was in 2014 when he was coach and that link has played a big part in me coming to Super League and Huddersfield.”
Mamo has a number of NRL games under his belt since making his first appearance for the Knights as a teenager back in 2014.
In that same season Mamo played for the New South Wales Under 20 team against Queensland and scored three tries in Blues’ 30-8 win, the first hat trick ever to be scored in an Under 20s State of Origin match – as well as winning the Darren Lockyer medal for man-of-the-match.
Mamo finished the 2016 NRL season having played in 13 matches and scored five tries for the Knights, however Knights coach and former Giants supremo Nathan Brown made it clear he was happy for Mamo to make the move to Super League.
“Nathan (Brown) told me I wasn’t in his plans at Newcastle but he also has been very helpful when it has come to moving to Huddersfield,” explained Mamo.
“We have had conversations about it and, given what is happening at Newcastle, it was a great opportunity.
“People have told me a lot about Huddersfield and Super League, but the big thing is that I wanted to come and see for myself.
“I will have Christmas at home, and make the most of the sun, and once I have got my visa sorted I will be over in January.
“I have watched Super League on the television and seen what the game is about and I just expect more of what I have when playing in the NRL, which is to be playing high quality footy.
“I must admit I never thought I would have come to Super League quite so early in my career, it was probably something I would have at done a little later, but basically the time was right and the opportunity was there.”
Giants coach Stone is delighted to finally land his former player and is keen to welcome him to the UK.
“I have worked with Jake for the last few years and I know what he is about and to have him coming to the Giants for the next few years is a great boost,” said Stone.
“Jake is an explosive quality, who brings plenty to the table offensively.
“He’s courageous, fit and really quick. I’m sure the crowd are going to really enjoy watching him play and hopefully he will score plenty of tries for the Giants in the next couple of years.
“Jake’s just finishing three years of first grade experience with the Newcastle Knights, he’s one of the real upcoming players in the NRL and as we have all seen on a couple of highlights footage, Jake can do some really spectacular things.
“I’m sure first of all that he is going to enjoy his time in Huddersfield and become a really valuable member of our team and, hopefully, lift us up the table in 2017.”
The Giants needed to fill the full back slot after Scott Grix’s decision to leave the club and sign for Wakefield Trinity, while another player who could have filled the role, Jake Connor, has moved to Hull FC.
While Giants duo winger Aaron Murphy and half back Ryan Brierley have played the role in the past, the Giants had essentially been left with just youngster Jared Simpson as a recognised full back.