DEPARTING Darrell Griffin has admitted that if he’d had his way he’d still be a Huddersfield Giants player.
But, at the same time, the 30-year-old England prop is still struggling to contain his excitement at joining newly-crowned Super League champions Leeds.
Griffin had attracted the interest of Wigan and St Helens before penning a three-year Headingley deal.
His move from the Galpharm to Leeds was one of the worst-kept secrets in the game, with the Oxford-born front-rower having been linked with the Rhinos for months.
That’s given Griffin a lot of time to consider swapping claret and gold for blue and amber.
But he’s now getting used to being a Loiner for the next there years – even though he would have been delighted to have seen out his career at the Giants.
“Leaving Huddersfield to join the Super League champions isn’t exactly the worst move in the world,” he said.
“Yet having said that, it’s still a massive wrench to be moving on.
“I’ve had a fantastic five years at the Giants, and earlier in the season I’d hoped there would be many more still to come.
“Although I was contracted for next season, I’d hoped a new deal could have been struck so I could have stayed here for longer.
“Unfortunately, that wasn’t to be.
“Instead, I was told I could speak to other clubs, because an agreement couldn’t be reached.
“I met with a number of Super League clubs, but once I became aware of Leeds’ interest in me, there was only one club that I wanted to join.
“They’ve once again proved they’re a champion team, and it’s going to be a fantastic honour to wear the shirt.”
But even though Griffin admits he’s disappointed with the way his time at Huddersfield has ended, he knows the club will always be very close to his heart.
“Coming to the Giants has been a fantastic move for me,” he reflected. “I’ve been involved in Challenge Cup finals and play-offs, and played for England on the back of it.
“I’ve also made some friends for life, including Nathan Brown and Paul Anderson, as well as the players.
“I’d just like to think I’ve played some small part in helping the club become a genuine force within the game. I’d also like to thank the club for everything they have done for me and I wish them all the best for the future.”