Elford wasting little time feeling at home
SHANE ELFORD has taken a massive step into the unknown.
But the 28-year-old Australian is confident his decision to join the Giants on a three-year contract is the right one to make.
While fellow former Wests Tigers teammates Jamahl Lolesi and John Skandalis have visited England before, Elford has never set foot in this country - until now.
That made his decision to leave the Australian NRL an incredibly tough one.
But with his mother having been born across the Pennines in Bolton, the utility back is sure he will feel very much at home.
And he also knows that with two Tigers teammates by his side and the chance to renew acquaintances with one of his closest pals in Brad Drew, the utility back is already enjoying life in a new land.
"The first thing that struck me about England is the cold!" he confessed.
"I gather it's pretty mild for this time of the year, but it's still come as a bit of a shock to my system.
"Coming to England is something I've always wanted to do, and it's very exciting coming here for the first time.
"The plane journey was a little long, I have to admit, but now I'm here I'm raring to go.
"I'm obviously still trying to get my bearings because I only got here at the weekend.
"Fortunately, the club have been great in helping me settle in, and there were one or two friendly faces to greet me when I first arrived.
"John Skandalis is now well settled in and Brad Drew is helping to look after me.
"And Brad certainly had a big influence in making my mind up that Huddersfield was a good place to be.
"I was with Brad at the Penrith Panthers and he told me I'd definitely like it here.
"I've seen how well he's fitted in and how well he's played, and that was certainly a big factor in making up my mind.
"And it was even easier when I knew I would be coming over here with two of my Tigers mates in John and Jamahl.
"I'm sure we'll all love it."
Knowing Elford will also be close to where his mother and grandparents were born was another reason for the move to the other side of the world.
And once he's fully settled in at Huddersfield, he's looking forward to visiting the Lancashire town.
"The only thing on my mind right now is getting to know the Giants inside out," he added.
"That's not going to happen overnight, it'll take a few training sessions to get there.
"But once I've done that, I quite fancy a trip to Bolton to see where my mum was born and to try and track down some of my relatives.
"To be honest, I know absolutely nothing about Bolton.
"All I do know is that there's some sort of big rivalry between Yorkshire and Lancashire.
"I'm interested to find out what that's all about and to see for myself when we play the Super League clubs from that part of the world.
"Having said that, I'm looking forward to playing in as many Super League games as possible.
"This is a fantastic opportunity for me and one I'm determined to make the most of.
"I've had a great career over in Australia. Wnning the Grand Final with Wests was obviously a dream come true.
"And I hope I can make a very positive contribution to the Giants.
"In the few days I've been here I'm already aware of the tremendous talent there is at the club.
"There seems to be a good mix of youth and experience, and the boys have all made me feel really welcome.
"It's now just a case of training hard and preparing for that first pre-season game against Wigan on January 21."