Exclusive: Tui Lolohea says Huddersfield Giants must challenge for trophies following ‘disappointing’ 2023 campaign

Huddersfield Giants halfback Tui Lolohea has told Serious About Rugby League about his desire to win silverware this season with the Giants, following a disappointing 2023 season for the club.

Ahead of the season, the Giants were tipped to be challenging for the title; however they didn’t live up to expectations and finished the year in a lowly ninth place; yet Lolohea believes trophies could be on the horizon for Ian Watson’s side.

“Ultimately everyone’s goal is to win trophies, whether it’s in the Challenge Cup or in the Super League, so that’s a team goal,” he told Serious About Rugby League.

“I really haven’t reflected on what my goals are for next season and I’ll get around to that once this is finished and I get a bit of time with my family. and I get a bit of time with my family”.

Huddersfield are assembling another exciting looking squad ahead of the 2024 campaign, bringing in NRL talent in the form of Adam Clune from Newcastle Knights, Jack Murchie from Parramatta Eels and Thomas Deakin from Sydney Roosters.

They have also added Super League players Elliot Wallis, Hugo Salabio as well as Hull FC duo Andre Savelio and Adam Swift.

During the interview at Tonga’s captain’s run ahead of the third and final test against England, Lolohea expressed his excitement at the prospect of playing alongside the new recruits for the Giants, saying: “I have seen some of the new signings, definitely really excited.”

He also took time to reflect on the Giants 2023 campaign: “It was a bit disappointing this year, both results and probably personal performance in the beginning of the year as a squad and as an individual; but I’m really excited for pre-season and the new combinations and ripping into next season.”

Among that host of new signings, Huddersfield have also retained key players like Ash Goulding and Leroy Cudjoe, and promoted some exciting young prospects into the senior set-up like centre Connor Carr and forward Jack Billington, with the latter already having senior experience at Barrow Raiders in the Championship.

Despite Lolohea’s eye looking towards the domestic season, there is still one final test match to play with Huddersfield’s star playmaker now set to partner young 18-year-old debutant Latu Fainu in the halves tomorrow.

During the interview with SARL, Lolohea heaped praise on the core of young players representing Tonga this series.

“I remember myself being in those same paths as them when I was 19, 20, there wasn’t many of us back then, to be honest,” he said.

“I was probably one of the few young ones that was playing back then, and now there’s probably like 10 boys that are probably under the age of 20, so that’s a positive for Tonga.”

He added: “It’s a credit to themselves for selecting Tonga over other countries they possibly could play for.”