SHAUN LUNT can be at the heart of Huddersfield Giants’ future success.
That’s the view of head coach Paul Anderson after watching the England hooker gear up for a big Super League XVIII season by destroying Widnes Vikings in his side’s pre-season trial clash.
The 25-year-old ripped the Vikings apart with a hat trick of tries in a man-of-the-match performance as the Giants recovered from an early 12-0 deficit to cruise to a 36-12 win.
It was Lunt’s first appearance at the John Smith’s Stadium since returning from his successful loan spell at Leeds where he helped the Rhinos lift the Super League trophy at Old Trafford last October.
But even though Leeds were keen to retain his services, Lunt has come back to Huddersfield determined to bring as much success to the Giants – and Anderson is confident that can be achieved.
“After helping Leeds win the Grand Final, some may have questioned what his attitude may have been like when he came back to us,” said Anderson (pictured above).
“But his attitude has never once been an issue, and all the credit for that needs to go to Shaun Lunt himself.
“From day one of pre-season he’s been the same old Lunty. His whole demeanour has been positive, as has his talk around the group.
“He’s returned to us as a winner with Leeds, and he’s 100% determined to make sure he now becomes a winner with Huddersfield Giants, which I’m sure he can.
“There’s no question Lunty is a class player in every sense, and it’s fantastic to have him back and doing what he’s doing.”
Lunt left the Giants for Leeds last April having already established himself as an England international.
And Anderson believes he’s now a far better player.
“Lunty showed so many of his qualities with his performance against Widnes the other day,” he added.
“We all saw his three tries, the hundreds of metres he was making and the amount of breaks he made, but there’s now far more to his game than that. He’s now developing a very good defensive game.
“When Lunty gets on the field, you always know the opposition are going to try and challenge him defensively.
“This was one area he knew that at some point he needed to improve, and he has now seriously improved it. Against Widnes, his defence was very, very good.
“It’s looking very good for him and very good for the Giants.”