STUART FIELDEN is already making a massive impact at the Huddersfield Giants – and head coach Paul Anderson couldn’t be happier.
The former Great Britain prop is expected to play a major on-field Super League role with his new club in 2013 after proving his fitness after an injury-hit last two years at Wigan Warriors.
But the vastly-experienced 33-year-old is also making his presence felt at the start of pre-season training and his former Bradford Bulls teammate Anderson isn’t at all surprised.
“I played and trained with Stuart at Bradford for eight years, so I knew exactly what to expect,” said Anderson.
“He’s just a quality person and that’s already shining through in the relatively short time he’s been here. Everyone knows what a great rugby league player he is.
“He’s a warrior, who we know will lead us by example when he gets out there on the field.
“But we’ve also seen that presence on the training field. As soon as he arrived he teamed up with our teenage prop Nathan Mason for testing and remained by his side to pass on whatever advice he could, and that’s a measure of the man.
“You can’t put a price on something like that.”
Fielden’s main role is, of course, adding extra steel to the Giants pack – which Anderson is confident he’ll do, despite his recent injury history.
“It’ll be a case of managing him carefully next season, because he’s got some miles on the clock and has the scars to show it,” added the John Smith’s Stadium chief. “But he remains a physical specimen, and at the moment we’re trying to hold him back as much as we can.
“He proved his fitness with Wigan at the end of last season and he’s come to us with the bit between his teeth. It’s fair to say he’s come to us flying and determined to prove there’s still a lot of life left in him.
“I’m 100% confident that’ll be the case. There’s no question he’s ready to play.”