NEW Giants signing Scott Grix believes he is already feeling the benefit of sitting out Ireland’s games in this autumn’s European Cup.
The 25-year-old former Wakefield Wildcats utility player had been named the Irish captain and was expected to play a leading role in this year’s competition after starring for his country in last year’s World Cup in Australia.
But after picking up a couple of knocks towards the end of the last Super League season, Grix felt he needed a break from competitive action.
And he believes it’s proving a smart move, particularly as he’s desperate to make an immediate positive impression at his new club.
“I’ve played back-to-back rugby without a break for the past few years, and I knew I needed a rest,” said Grix.
“I was struggling with a few knocks and the last thing I wanted was to make them worse playing for Ireland and then arrive at Huddersfield injured.
“Fortunately, it’s proved a good decision to make. I feel fresh and fit and been able to play a full part in training, which I have to admit has been tough.
“Bumper (head conditioner Mark Andrews) has had his claws into us a fair bit, but it’s also been enjoyable and we know how much benefit it’ll be to us when the season does get started.
“And I have to say I’m really excited about the season already.
“Having moved clubs before I had a rough idea of what to expect and that’s helped me settle in easily, as has the fact I know about a dozen of the boys pretty well anyway.
“I’ve known Luke (Robinson), in particular, for years and we still live very close to each other (in Sowerby Bridge) and sharing the car to training and back is a laugh.
“In fact, he did have a bit of an influence in me deciding to come to Huddersfield.
“We’ve always talked on a fairly regular basis, and he was often telling me how much he loved it at Huddersfield.
“Then, of course, there’s Brad Drew.
“We were teammates at Wakefield for two years and he always told me how much he loved it at the club.
“So when I knew Drewy was going back and I got the call from Nathan (Brown) asking if I’d be interested in joining the Giants it wasn’t a tough decision to make at all.
“He’s done a fantastic job and, having now worked with him, his coaching staff and the squad, I know why they were right up there last season.
“I couldn’t really be much happier about the way things have gone.”
Much of Grix’s time so far has been on the fitness front.
But he knows it’ll soon be time for head coach Brown to take centre stage on the training field, which is something else that excites the new arrival.
“Nathan is already starting to stamp his authority on the work we’re doing on the skills front, and it’s very enjoyable,” added Grix.
“This sort of work will obviously increase as the season gets nearer and we can start to think about the pre-season games and then Super League itself.
“And by then I’ll definitely know what role I’ll be playing for the side.
“As yet, it’s undecided, but we’ve got a fair bit of time.
“But I obviously want to play in a pivotal position, either six, seven, one, nine or 13.
“At this stage, it’s going to be a case of me learning all the roles and taking things from there.
“But as long as I’m in the side and making a positive contribution, I’ll be happy to fit in anywhere.”
Meanwhile, Giants fans will be able to take a sneak look at the new home Super League XV shirt ahead of its official Tuesday launch at Leeds Building Society’s town centre branch on Monday.