AS soon as Stuart Fielden enters a room, it’s clear he possesses an incredible amount of presence.
Physically, that goes without saying. The fact he’s 6ft 3in, 16st 7lb sums it up.
But there’s far more to him than that.
His personality matches the strength of his on-field performances – there’s power, passion and enthusiasm.
There’s also a great deal of confidence, which is something you’d expect from someone who has achieved almost everything in the game.
During a glittering 14-year career, the 33-year prop has won World Club Challenges, Super League Grand Finals and Challenge Cup finals.
And when he scored two tries in a man-of-the-match performance for Bradford Bulls in their World Club Challenge triumph over Australian NRL champions West Tigers in February 2006 – at the John’s Smith’s Stadium – he was hailed as the world’s best prop forward.
That was to be his last piece of silverware in the colours of the Bulls, with Fielden making a shock move to Wigan to join his old Bradford coach Brian Noble for a record Super League transfer fee of £450,000.
His spell at the Warriors was to end in bitter disappointment as a major knee injury and ruptured pectoral muscle ruled him out for almost the two last two years.
Fielden did prove his fitness in the final four games of last season.
By then, however, Wigan coach Shane Wane had decided to let him go – and the Giants jumped at the chance to sign him, with Paul Anderson playing a leading role.
Having been teammates at Bradford Bulls, head coach Anderson knew just what Fielden could bring to his squad.
The duo had been part of Bradford’s famous ‘awesome foursome’, along with Brian McDermott and Joe Vagana, with Fielden often playing the leading role.
The Halifax-based front-rower will obviously be hoping to be a massive on-field influence in 2013, but he is confident he can make a massive impact off the field, too.
And judging by the way he has attacked pre-season training and been on hand to help the Giants rising stars around him, there’s no reason why that won’t be the case.
“Being here has really freshened me up and I’m loving what we’re doing.” said Fielden.
“Paul’s told me exactly what he wants from me and I definitely feel I can do what he wants.
“Put it this way, if I didn’t think I could make a positive impression I wouldn’t be here and I’d be hanging my boots up.
“Specifically, I can offer a bit of experience and a little bit of leadership, whether that’s on the competitive field or at training.
“So far, that’s obviously been restricted to training, and things couldn’t be going any better on that front.
“The intensity of the sessions has been 100% in everything we do, from the skills session to the speed, and you don’t have a second to yourself.
“You obviously need it like this, because you don’t have a second to yourself during games, so you shouldn’t have a second to yourself during training.
“I’m really enjoying working with the young lads at the club and giving them any help I can.
“There’s a tremendous amount of talent here and I can’t wait to see it come through.
“There really is a positive feel throughout this club, and it’s great being a part of it.”
STUART FIELDEN is 100% confident his body is ready to cope with the full demands of another Super League season.
The 33-year-old former Great Britain prop has suffered a major knee injury and torn pectoral muscle over the past two years.
As a result, Fielden has hardly played a competitive game in the past 24 months.
But having proved his fitness by featuring in four Wigan games at the end of the 2012 campaign – including a full-blooded Super League derby against St Helens – the former Bradford Bulls prop feels he still has a lot to offer.
“The body feels good,” he declared.
“I played the back four games with Wigan, and that included 50-60 minutes against Saints.
“That was just my second game in 16 months, and I was pretty happy with that. I felt fit and strong.
“Obviously, I knew I could have been a bit better, but I’m working on that now, and with the way things are progressing here, I’m confident I’ll be in even better shape when the new season gets under way.
“I’ve obviously been asked a number of times if I’ve got any major doubts over my fitness and the injuries I’ve had.
“The answer to that is a very categoric ‘no’.
“Is that a slight bit of naivety on my part? Again, the answer is ‘no’.
“My pec hasn’t given me a problem for a second, and my knee feels strong, which I feel is down to the medical staff at Wigan.
“There’s a saying that the surgery is the easy part and it’s the rehab that holds the key, and at Wigan I was lucky to have some fantastic support.
“I can’t thank them enough for the work they put in with me. The work they’ve put in with me over the past two years has been nothing shorty of immense.
“As far as I’m concerned, what they’ve done for me will help extend my career by at least two years.”
And those two years are the ones Fielden could be about to serve at the Giants.
The former Great Britain prop put pen to paper on a two-year Giants deal a month ago.
But he already feels at home in his new environment and relishing the 2013 and 2014 season as a key member of Huddersfield’s team.
“Judging by the way things have started here, I’ve got a feeling I’m going to thoroughly enjoy the next two years,” he added.
“From the moment I walked in I was made to feel at home.
“The players have all taken me on board and the coaching staff are great.
“What really struck me as soon as I walked through the door was how well everyone got on with each other.
“There are no cliques here whatsoever, and it isn’t an exaggeration to say everyone in the squad is a top bloke.
“And I’ve also been blown away by the initial reaction of the fans to me. The ones I’ve met so far have made me massively welcome.
“As a result, I’m really excited about meeting even more of the fans at the Open Day at the stadium today (it gets under way with an open training session at 10am before a first-team signing session an hour later).
“Having been a part of these sort of events before, I know how much of a buzz the players get from them.
“The boys have been pushing themselves incredibly hard and giving their all at every training session, so I know today will be a really good change.”