FIRST impressions can be important and Huddersfield Giants will be happy that they seem to have already won over new signing Jake Mamo.
The 22-year-old full-back was Giants head coach Rick Stone’s main target as he built his squad for the 2017 Super League season, and the former Newcastle Knights player appears to be struck with his new surroundings.
“First impressions I think it’s a beautiful part of the world,” said Mamo, who arrived in England in time to take in the Giants 12-0 success at Warrington Wolves on Wednesday night.
“Coming from the airport, through some hills, it looked really pretty.”
Arguably more important is that Mamo, who scored the first hat trick ever to be scored in an Under 20s State of Origin game playing for New South Wales, was just as impressed by what he saw on the field at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
“I thought they played really well, and they did a great job keeping Warrington to nil,” said Mamo.
“It was really impressive to see and they had a fair few sets defending on their line – and so the defence overall really impressed me.
“I met all the lads on the way to the Warrington game on the bus and we had a training session.
“I have met them all but I haven’t spent a lot of time with them yet, so I’m still trying to put names to faces and that might take me a week or two, but it’s great to meet everyone here.”
However, the opening Super League game away to Widnes Vikings on Friday has arrived a little bit too soon for Mamo, who suffered an injury when he was hit by a motorcycle while on holiday in Bali.
“My injury is coming along nicely and I am happy with my recovery so far,” said Mamo.
“I will just get into rehab and work hard, but it’s improving every week and I’m pleased with how it’s going.
“I can’t wait to get stuck in and see the season start.
“I came here to play footy and it’s a bit unfortunate that I will be sat on the sidelines at the start, but I will be ready for when the time comes.
“I’m looking forward to supporting the boys for the next couple of weeks and hopefully get my chance soon.
“I’ve known Stoney since I was about 18, when I first joined Newcastle he was there, so I’ve spent a lot of time under him as a head coach and an assistant coach.
“It’s good to be back here with him and it’s great to know somebody when you come over here and you don’t know many people.”
And Mamo is being tipped to bring a spark of electricity to the Giants back line this season.
That’s the view of experienced Australian forward Ryan Hinchcliffe, who knows of Mamo’s abilities well from the NRL.
“I played a fair bit against Jake Mamo in the last few years I had in Australia,” said the 32-year-old
former Melbourne Storm star.
“He’s a dynamic player, very quick, very fit and a real competitor. He will bring a heap of energy to the full-back position, so I’m looking forward to him stepping up for us.”
Hinchcliffe has no doubts Mamo will hit the ground running in Super League.
“He will be a really exciting player for the fans to watch,” added Hinchcliffe of the signing from Newcastle Knights.
“Jake has electric speed and he’s super fit, so he’s one to look forward to.”