DAVID FAIUMU has admitted he felt like it was his first day at school when he walked in to training with his new Giants teammates for the first time earlier this week.
There was a mixture of excitement and apprehension – as well as relief – as the 25-year-old finally stepped through the doors of the Galpharm.
It brought to an end a nightmare two months for the New Zealand Test hooker, who had been effectively frozen out of the game during that time as he waited for the paperwork over his move from top Australian NRL club North Queensland Cowboys to be completed.
But now he is ready to embark on a new life in Huddersfield, having signed a deal until the end of the 2011 season.
And with the first-day nerves out of the way, he is determined to make up for lost time.
Whether Faiumu makes his Super League debut against Castleford Tigers at The Jungle tomorrow (3.30) remains to be seen.
But he admits that with the warm welcome he has received and the way he has settled in, he feels ready to play.
“It is very daunting when you come to a new club, and I did feel like a young kid who was just starting school when I turned up for training,” he confessed.
“But I needn’t have worried.
“Before I decided to come here, I spoke to some of the boys at the club who I already knew, and the feedback was very positive.
“In fact, as soon as Fatz (Paul Whatuira) told me this was a team and a club on the ‘up’ that virtually made up my mind.
“Signing for the next three years is a big commitment, but when someone like Paul says this, you know you’ll be okay.
“And having Paul around this week has certainly helped me settle in much easier.
“I’ve known him since we were young kids, while I’ve also played with Jamahl Lolesi in the New Zealand Test team and was a teammate of Rod Jensen’s at the Cowboys.
“They’ve all helped make me feel at home, although everyone at the club has been fantastic, to be honest.
“The boys were all very jovial and upbeat when I turned up for training for the first time. I’m sure it must have had something to do with beating Wigan so well last Friday!
“But they did also seem very genuinely pleased to see me, and I have to admit that made me feel much, much better.
“If first impressions are anything to go by, I’m really going to enjoy the next three years here.
“But right now, the main priority is obviously to get that first game under my belt.
“These last few months have dragged, and I really can’t wait to get my career back on track. I feel ready to play!”
Faiumu is spending the rest of the season with Whatuira.
But he will soon begin house hunting for when partner Belinda and daughters Nhi-arla (three) and Manaia (one) join him for the start of pre-season training for 2009.
“It’s going to be tough without them for the next few months, but I know Belinda is excited about coming over here,” he added.
“It’s a new and exciting chapter in our lives, and I know she’s looking forward to coming over here and experiencing something completely different.
“To be honest, we just can’t wait!”