Huddersfield Giants skipper Ryan Hinchcliffe has revealed how tough he’s found playing a full season at hooker.

But it won’t prevent the former Melbourne Storm loose-forward from doing everything he possibly can to help Huddersfield remain in Super League.

The 31-year-old has admitted he arrived at Huddersfield for the start of the 2016 top-flight campaign fully expecting to spend a fair chunk of his time in his favoured loose-forward berth.

That would have been the case if Luke Robinson hadn’t been forced to retire at the start of the season with a long-standing hip injury and Kyle Wood had a delayed start to his year because of a serious groin problem. The pair were expected to take on the lion’s share of the hooking responsibilities, along with rising No9 star Kruise Leeming.

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Vastly-experienced Australian Hinchcliffe has made it clear he’s been happy to takeover the role on a regular basis to help the Giants cause during this toughest of campaigns.

But he also knows his first season in West Yorkshire would have been far more comfortable had he spent more of his time in the No13 role.

“When I came over here I knew I’d have to play a bit at nine,” said Hinchcliffe.

“To be honest, I was under the impression I’d be playing a lot more at 13.

Huddersfield Giants have to stand and deliver to guarantee Super League survival

“Unfortunately, that’s not how things have panned out. Due to a number of circumstances, the team has needed me a lot more at nine, so in that respect I’ve been happy to play it.

“But I have to admit I am a lot more comfortable playing at loose-forward, which is where I spent the majority of my career back in Australia. I spent about 10 years there.

“So I have had to make some adjustments to my game over here, particularly as it’s also played a bit differently.

“It’s a lot more attacking-based than it is in Australia, and as I’m probably not the most attacking-based hooker that’s been an extra challenge for me.

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“On top of that, because we’ve not been playing well we’ve been having to do a lot more defending and that’s taken its toll. That’s made my role in the middle even harder.

“Clearly, if we get our act together as a team and start respecting possession we won’t be under the pump as much defensively and the pressure on us won’t be so great.

“When we do that, then I know me and the rest of the side will be far more effective and things will start to improve.

“Although Rick (Stone) is doing a fantastic job with us in training, it’s not yet transferred itself onto the competitive field.

“But when it does, we know how dramatically things will start to change in our favour.”