NEW major Huddersfield Giants signing Ukuma Ta’ai’s arrival has been delayed by red tape.
Huddersfield chiefs had hoped the former New Zealand Warriors back-row forward would have arrived in time to feature in next Friday’s pre-season clash at St Helens.
But the Tongan international has hit a visa snag, meaning his work permit has yet to be processed.
The Giants remain confident Ta’ai will arrive in time for their Super League XVIII opener at St Helens on Saturday, February 2, although they admit the matter is entirely out of their hands.
“Everything was going superbly with Ukuma pre-Christmas and we expected him to be in the UK any day now,” explained Giants managing director Richard Thewlis.
“Every issue from our and the Rugby Football League’s perspective was sorted weeks ago, but a technicality has been raised by the border agency in Manila, meaning Ukuma is now behind schedule.
“He has done all that has been asked of him by the authorities and, without going into precise detail, he has been extremely unfortunate in one area of his submission for entry.
“This requires further work which he will complete very soon when everywhere re-opens after the festive break.
“I expect to have further news in the not-too-distant future and remain confident – as does Ukuma and his manager – that the issue will be overcome.
“However, it does mean he is a definite non-starter for the trial game at St Helens next Friday.”