THIS is obviously your first year in Super League after spending all your career in the Australian NRL with St George. How have you found it?
It is a little different to the NRL but, at the end of the day, it’s rugby league and it’s a very good competition.
But as well as being a great rugby league experience, it’s also been a fantastic life experience for my family and myself, and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.
And in terms of my development as a coach, I always thought Huddersfield would be a good move for me.
It’s proved just that, and that’s added to my sense of enjoyment.
There have certainly been a lot more positives than negatives, and we can’t wait to get back for the start of next season – although I think we are all looking forward to getting back down onto the beach!
In actual terms of standard, how do the two competitions compare?
I think the major issue is the number of top players the NRL clubs can pick from compared to those in Super League.
There’s a vaster pool of players in Australia, and that’s an area the English game really has to consider.
From the moment I got here, I couldn’t understand why junior rugby league is played in the winter in freezing cold weather.
It just doesn’t seem as if any common sense is used.
Playing rugby league would surely be a far better proposition for kids if they were playing in the summer when the weather is so much better and they’re also not having to compete with soccer.
I know this is the way it’s always been in the past, but I believe it’s something the game’s authorities really should take into account.
Then we move on to the difference between the two competitions in playing terms. The biggest difference in this respect is that the Australian game is played at a higher intensity for longer periods, which is something that is then reflected in the international game.
But having now been involved in the game over here myself I do believe there are a lot of English players who could do well in the NRL.
Gareth Ellis has had a very good year at Wests Tigers and I’m sure Sam Burgess will do well at South Sydney.
But the key to success for an English player trying to establish themselves in the NRL would be to find the right club and get the right coaching.
If they do that, then there’s no reason at all why they wouldn’t become a big hit with the Australian crowds.
Put it this way, I don’t think it’s beyond the realms of possibility for tmore Australian clubs to come to England and start raiding the Super League .