Fans’ favourite Ukuma Ta’ai is staying at the Giants.
Huddersfield have announced the blockbusting 29-year-old back-row forward has signed a two-year contract extension which will keep him at the Super League club until the end of the 2018 season.
The Tongan World Cup star has made 114 appearances and scored 33 tries for the Giants in his three years at the John Smith’s Stadium, and his consistent performances made Ta’ai an ever-present in 2016.
Giants officials have admitted a deal to retain Ta’ai’s services had been agreed in principle several months ago, but nothing could be confirmed until the club had maintained their Super League status via their successful Middle 8s campaign and subsequent paperwork had been completed.
And now that’s been achieved, the former New Zealand Warrior admits he’s delighted and can’t wait to be a part of head coach Rick Stone’s future plans.
“I’m so excited the club has given me the opportunity to stay,” said Ta’ai. “I love Huddersfield. It’s a small town but the fans are fantastic and I’m excited to be given the chance to stay here for another two years.
“Since Rick has been here, he’s been great for us and I’m looking forward to pre-season, so we can achieve more next year and hopefully the fans get behind us even more.”
Giants Managing Director Richard Thewlis said: “The Ukuma deal was done some time back but as with other deals done there have been legalities which prevent immediate announcements.
“As and when we are able to make announcements regarding the 2017 squad we will do so, but the forefront of our thinking is player welfare.”