ANTHONY MULLALLY is ready to battle all the way to earn a Huddersfield Giants debut in the Super League XVIII opener at St Helens.

But the 21-year-old former Widnes Vikings prop knows he faces the toughest of challenges to guarantee he’s in the 17 for the trip to Langtree Park on February 2.

Mullally has made a positive impression on head coach Paul Anderson at the start of pre-season training.

Unfortunately for the youngster, fellow new signings Stuart Fielden and Craig Kopczak have also been making their sizeable presence felt, while former New Zealand Warriors forward Ukuma Ta’ai is expected to make a major impact as soon as he arrives around Christmas time.

Mullally also knows he faces competition from the likes of established Giants forwards Eorl Crabtree, Larne Patrick, Jason Chan, Luke O’Donnell, Brett Ferres and Dale Ferguson.

But he’s determined to rise to the challenge.

“I’m sure Paul (Anderson) doesn’t see me as a starting prop just yet,” said Mullally, who has joined the Giants on a three-year contract. “With the amount of quality forwards there are in the squad I can see why that’s the case.

“But I’m happy about that. You want competition for places, because that brings the best out of you, and there’s certainly competition for places here!

“Yes, it’s going to be tough establishing yourself, but that’s a challenge I’m relishing.

“I always knew as soon as I signed that I wasn’t going to walk into this side. I knew I’d need to put in a tremendous amount of hard work.

“That’s exactly what I’m doing at the moment, and I just hope that when the season gets under way that hard work has paid off.”