NEW signing Tony Tonks is backing his own ability to be a major Super League success at Huddersfield Giants.
The Featherstone Rovers prop has today put pen to paper on a one-year deal to move from the Co-operative Championship.
Tonks’ outstanding form throughout the season made him hot Super League property.
But the 26-year-old former Wakefield and Bradford Academy man is convinced he has joined the right club, and is happy to have quit his job and taken the gamble of initially signing for a single season.
“I’m happy it’s the year, and it’s what I expected,” said Tonks.
“That’s because I’ve got to prove I’m now ready to play at Super League level, which is something I’m looking forward to doing.
“It’s just a case of taking my chance and showing everyone at the club what I can do. It’s up to me, nobody else.
“That’s a challenge that excites me, and I believe that the Giants are the perfect club to help to bring the best out of me and show I’ve now developed into a Super League player.
“I’ve seen the way the coaching staff here have helped develop the young players who they take on, and Larne Patrick is a prime example to me.
“I was at the Bradford Academy the same time as Larne, and he was always a player with a tremendous amount of ability.
“But he’s now an outstanding player, and that’s because of the way he’s developed during his time at Huddersfield.
“Hopefully, it’ll be a similar story for me.”
As well as knowing Patrick, Tonks was also at the Bulls at the same time as Great Britain prop Paul Anderson (right), who is now the Giants assistant coach.
And the Normanton-based Tonks – he lives near to Anderson as well! – can’t wait to renew his acquaintance with the fellow front-row forward.
“When I was a youngster coming through at the Bulls, Baloo was my mentor,” he added.
“He took a lot of time with me to help develop my game, and I found everything he said invaluable.
“He’s done everything in the game, and you can tell that whenever he was talking to you.
“I’m definitely not surprised he’s gone on to become such a good, well-respected coach, and I know how much more I’ll learn off him in the months ahead.
“I’m also sure I’ll develop a lot under Nathan Brown, as well.
“Everyone I speak to talks incredibly highly about him, and that’s shone through in the conversations I’ve had with him.
“He said all the right things to me, and I suppose I must have said all the right things to him or else I wouldn’t be lucky enough to be here now!
“What he said to me made me even more excited about coming here and, to be honest, pre-season training can’t come soon enough.
“I’m packing my job in doing ground works to come here, and the thought of being back in the full-time rugby league environment is an amazing thought.
“I know I’ve been given a fantastic opportunity to become a professional player for, hopefully, a number of years to come.
“It’s now up to me to make the most of this opportunity as quickly as possible.”
The arrival of Tonks does, however, increase the speculation that fellow prop Darrell Griffin could soon be confirmed as a Leeds Rhinos player.
He is one of several Giants stars rumoured to be about to make moves away from the Galpharm.
Those continue to include Danny Kirmond, Andy Raleigh and Kyle Wood, who are still being linked with switches to Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
And those potential moves could pave the way for centre Aaron Murphy and hooker or half-back Tommy Lee to move in the opposite direction.