HUDDERSFIELD Giants managing Director Richard Thewlis has confirmed the club are expecting to see Wests Tigers utility forward Liam Fulton in claret and gold at some point this season – but not just yet.
Thewlis revealed Fulton’s situation is “fairly complex” and it may be half way through the Super League XIV campaign before he arrives at the Galpharm.
The Giants, who are next in action at Bradford Bulls on Friday, have “shaken hands” on a deal for the Australian Grand Final winner.
“We have an excellent relationship with the Tigers and speak to their people on a fairly regular basis,” said Thewlis.
“Warren McDonnell, the Wests Tigers recruitment manager, knew that Nathan Brown has a very high opinion of Liam and that we were in the market for a utility player, and the Tigers agreed to release Liam from his contract.
“He is equally comfortable in the back row, at loose-forward or at half-back, obviously he knows players at our club and has taken their advice, and he is really keen to have experience of Super League.”
Last NRL season, Fulton made 21 appearances for the Tigers.
He was a Grand Final winner with them in 2005.
“By adding an extra high-quality player we give Nathan more options in his team selections, there is added competition for places and scope for player rotation and the cover means players do not have to rush back from injury,” added Thewlis.
“Over a season Super League is not a 13-man or a 17-man game. It is a squad game.
“Our aim is to build the best squad possible.
“Most rugby league fans will appreciate that getting the paperwork done for visas can be tricky and time consuming.
“It needs to involve the player and his manager, the two clubs and the RFL and NRL as well as the border agencies.
“For this reason we do not expect to see him available for selection at the Giants until towards the middle of our season.
“We have all shaken hands on this one, which is perfectly acceptable to me whenever we deal with the Tigers.
“He will remain training with them in Australia for the time being and if the situation changes we will make an announcement accordingly.
“If everything goes as I would expect, he will see the season out with us from around the mid-point.
“I recall the lift that several mid-season additions have given our club and I am thinking of the likes of Stanley Gene, Troy Stone, Keith Mason, Ben Roarty and Kevin Brown, all of whom were or are real fans’ favourites, and there’s no reason to think that the same can’t apply with Liam.”