BUOYANT Brett Hodgson is determined to lead the Giants towards Super League success and further strengthen his immediate love affair with English rugby league.
The 31-year-old Australian goalkicking full-back will lead out Huddersfield in Sunday’s big home opener against St Helens at the Galpharm (3.00) after starring in Saturday’s stunning 30-8 triumph at Catalans Dragons.
Even though Hodgson has made six State of Origin appearances for New South Wales and led Wests Tigers to Australian NRL Grand Final glory in 2005, the new Giants captain admits his home debut against Saints will be a massive occasion.
And having already fallen in love with the English style of rugby league and the atmosphere generated by the fans, he can’t wait for this weekend to arrive.
“This really is a very exciting time for me, as well as the club,” said Hodgson.
“It’s always been my dream to play in England at some stage, and in the short time I’ve been here it’s already exceeded all my expectations.
“I think the style of play in Super League suits my game, and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience of playing in France last weekend.
“Being part of what was such a solid all-round team performance was a fantastic feeling, and the atmosphere inside the ground was again something special.
“In fact, the way the fans get behind their team over here has absolutely blown me away. It was great in France, and I thought it was just as good when we played the trial game against Wigan at the Galpharm last month.
“I just can’t wait for Saints on Sunday.
“The noise the supporters generated during the Wigan game when there were just 3,500 fans in the stadium was brilliant, so I’m sure it’ll be a dream playing in front of over 10,000, which is what the club is hoping to attract.”
But even though Hodgson, pictured above, is new to the Super League scene, he already knows he and his teammates still have a vital part to play in generating the crowd noise.
“Obviously, we have to give the fans something to shout about if we’re going to create a special atmosphere,” added Hodgson.
“For that to happen, we have to make sure we improve on the performance we produced against Catalans, because we know St Helens will be far tougher opponents.
“A lot of what we did in France was good, but there were still a number of areas of our game that we need to work on.
“If we can manage to do that, then I’m confident we can make this game, and our season, pretty special.
“We made a great start against the French, but a great start is all it is.
“I know how keen the coaching staff are for us to build on this performance as quickly as possible.”