JASON CHAN has put his hand up to play at prop for the Giants.
The 27-year-old Papua New Guinea Test ace signed for Huddersfield at the end of last season after starring for Crusaders in the back row.
That’s the position head coach Nathan Brown intends to utilise Chan in Super League XVII.
But with so many front-row forwards currently on the sidelines, the new recruit is ready to switch pack positions for tonight’s opening pre-season clash at Castleford Tigers (8.00).
Larne Patrick (wrist), David Fa’alogo (back) and Luke O’Donnell (knee) are all recovering from surgery which will keep them on the sidelines until March, while new prop Tony Tonks is suspended.
Chan insists the current front-row crisis has been over-exaggerated, and that the strength, depth and versatility within such a strong squad of players can overcome the absences and the Giants are more than capable of building on last year’s fourth-placed finish.
But he does acknowledge the need for him to cover up front in the short term.
“I’m pencilled in to play prop at the moment because I do have experience of playing there, despite my natural position being in the back row,” revealed Chan, who began his career under Brown in the Australian NRL at St George Dragons.
“When I first started with the Crusaders I was primarily playing there, and with the current injuries at the club I can definitely fill in and do a job.
“But we still have a good choice of front-rowers available, with the younger guys also looking to step up their games, so I think the so-called crisis isn’t as big a thing as everybody says it is.
“I always knew Huddersfield were a strong team when I was playing in Wrexham last season and they’re one of the top clubs, but being here now you realise just how strong the squad actually is.
“Hopefully, we’ll be able to show that at Cas tonight.
“It’s obviously going to be a big night for everybody, because it’s our first run-out of the year.
“But it’s also my first game for the Giants and I’m really looking forward to that.”
Making his debut in the famous claret and gold will crown an excellent week for Chan.
Although he has thoroughly enjoyed his first Huddersfield pre-season, he’s had to do it without his wife Rochelle and baby girl Araiah Chellae, who was born back in Australia a month before Christmas.
But with their visa finally coming through last Friday, his young family arrived in England earlier this week.
And Chan can’t wait to catch up with his two favourite girls, especially as it will signal the end of him having to take on the unfamiliar role of going to the supermarket!
“My time here has been really tough so far!” he added.
“Touch wood, I haven’t got any niggles or injuries and I’ve had a clean bill of health, and I’ve got to know Browny, all the boys and the coaching staff really well, on and off the field, so it has been really good to settle in at the club.
“But the family have only just arrived from Australia, which is a real relief as I’ve found it really weird having to go out and get food and stuff for the house, because that’s usually the wife’s job!
“And obviously It’s been really hard for me because we had our baby girl born in November and I haven’t had much quality time with her, so it’ll be great to catch up and be able see her on a regular basis.”