UKUMA TA’AI will train with the Huddersfield Giants for the first time today.
The 25-year-old former New Zealand Warriors back-rower jetted in to Huddersfield yesterday afternoon and will spend most of the day involved in fitness screening.
Ta’ai’s arrival on a three-year contract was delayed by red tape and he was only granted a visa a week ago.
But he has spent the past few months working with a personal trainer on a fitness programme sent to him by Giants head conditioner Greg Brown.
The fitness chief was this morning putting the Giants’ new man through his paces to assess his overall levels.
But it’s unlikely Ta’ai (pictured below) will be considered for Sunday’s opening Super League XVIII home game against London Broncos.
A final decision will be taken later in the week, although at this stage head coach Paul Anderson is just pleased to finally get his man to Huddersfield.
“We’re looking forward to having a good look at him,” said Anderson.
“We know he’s physically a very strong man with natural size and strength which, allied to his aggressive style and off-loading ability, makes him a dangerous rugby league player.
“Everyone knows we want players with size and strike and Ukuma ticks all the boxes.
“He can play at prop or back-row and we will work out how to utilise his skills best over the next few days and weeks.
“But, at this stage, we’re just pleased he’s here, because it’s been a pretty frustrating and anxious time for all concerned.
“I think we’re all looking forward to putting all that behind us and seeing exactly what Ukuma came do.”