“I feel I’ve come back a man after leaving a boy.”
That’s Larne Patrick’s assessment following his return to the Giants after a season-long loan at Wigan Warriors.
The 27-year-old Welsh international forward brought the curtain down on his time at the DW Stadium with a strong display off the bench in a dramatic 22-20 Super League Grand Final defeat to Leeds Rhinos at Old Trafford last October (inset picture).
WATCH HUDDERSFIELD GIANTS WRITER CHRIS ROBERTS' PREVIEW OF SUPER LEAGUE XXI AT THE TOP OF THIS ARTICLE
But Patrick is back at the club he joined as a 20-year-old feeling he’s matured dramatically as a person and a rugby league player, and is keen to show that to everyone around him.
“I did love every minute of my time at Wigan,” said Patrick.
“I’ve learned some new things and experienced some different things during my time there, which I know have made me a better player. The time away has also made me more mature.
“So, in a sense, I feel I’ve come back to the Giants a man after leaving a boy.
“During my time at Wigan I realised how much I loved it at the Giants, and how much I loved being around the place and this group of people.
“As soon as I stepped back into the club everyone was giving me the warmest of welcomes. In that respect, it felt as if I’d hardly been away.
“I just hope I can play a positive role in getting the Giants to Old Trafford, which is obviously the ultimate aim.
“Having experienced what it’s like to play in a Grand Final with Wigan, it would be a dream come true to get back there with Huddersfield.”
And Patrick is 100 per cent convinced it is possible.
“I genuinely feel we can do it,” he added.
“The facilities at the club get better and better, and the quality of the squad has never been higher.
“There’s going to be real competition for places in the forwards, which was the case at Wigan this season and helped make the side so strong.
“With the way things are looking, I’m going to be playing the loose-forward role this season.
“That’s the position I’ve been focusing on throughout pre-season and I have, of course, been handed the No13 shirt, which is a great honour.
“And I also feel I’m now one of the senior players in the squad, particularly after my time at Wigan and having experienced a Super League Grand Final.
“All being well, I’ll be given the chance of taking a bit more responsibility when I’m out on the field.
“I’m looking forward to having the chance to do that, as well as trying to make a starting spot my own.
“Having said all that, I’m just delighted to be back at the Giants full stop, and doing what I can to get us to Old Trafford.”