In many ways Kevin Naiqama was the last piece of the puzzle at St Helens.
After a few years in the wilderness, by the end of 2017 St Helens looked the real deal and really should have secured their place in the Grand Final but for a last minute penalty against Castleford Tigers.
In 2018, they showed that they were indeed the real deal as they dominated the league with 26 wins as they finished top but the Saints lost a pair of semi-finals as they went on to miss out on both major finals.
It was at the end of this season Kevin Naiqama was brought in. Naiqama brought a number of things to the Saints as they looked to end a five year wait for major final win and end a run of one Super League title in 13 years.
The first thing was versatility. Capable of playing centre, wing or fullback brilliantly he lessened the pressure on the other key players in the Saints back line.
The next of course was a touch of class but the biggest was the fact he added to the growing winning mentality at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
It’s easy to say now after he won four major finals in three years at St Helens, but before he arrived he was already bringing the right attitude and attitude you could see in the way he led Fiji to a heroic World Cup quarter final win over New Zealand in 2017.
The way he guided his team to this shock victory demonstrated he was bringing a resurgence, a belief, a never say die attitude to St Helens when he arrived and on the basis of the 2022 World Cup he will do the same to Huddersfield Giants as he joins the club in 2023.
Naiqama now though also has Grand Final winning experience and even scored a brace of tries in his last Grand Final win with the Saints as he won the Harry Sunderland Award.
So not only is he bringing the right attitude to Ian Watson’s side but he is also bringing Super League title winning experience.
On top of that, how many players can you say in Super League have tormented some of the best in the world like Naiqama did to New Zealand last night?
That shows the class he still has and it’s these added one percents that Naiqama and Huddersfield’s other recruits bring to the club in 2023 which could have the Giants dreaming of Old Trafford.