Huddersfield Giants boss Ian Watson hints at Ricky Leutele replacement

Huddersfield Giants head coach Ian Watson has been working hard in recent weeks and months in order to tie up players for 2023 – whether that’s bringing in someone new or handing deals to current stars already at the John Smith’s Stadium.

The likes of Kevin Naiqama and Harry Rushton have signed from the NRL whilst new deals have been announced for a number of stars such as Chris McQueen and Sam Hewitt.

And, with the departure of Ricky Leutele confirmed by Watson, the former Salford boss has confirmed that signings are on the way.

“We’re quite happy with where we are, hopefully fingers crossed there will be a couple of announcements going forward – Richard is working really hard to finalise a few things for us.

“I see the recruitment as more or less done now, we just need to tick the boxes now. All the indications are it’s always good.

“We will have one available at the moment. I’ve been watching a lot of state cup games, but I think we’ve got what we need.

“Huddersfield are a different club to Salford, I think we can attract a player that we want to get early rather than waiting for someone in the World Cup.

Watson has no qualms about playing Leutele with his professionalism shining through as well as his previous form standing him in good stead.

“Ricky is a really good guy, he has got a balanced view. He knows there is an opportunity to be involved in a Grand Final. He has won a Grand Final in the NRL so it would be awesome for him to win a Grand Final in Super League. He’s in a really good frame of mind to lift a trophy with Huddersfield.

“He was the best centre in Super League and would have been in the Super League Dream Team and that’s something for Ricky to aim for.

“He was playing phenomenal before he was injured. There will be a few changes this week and Ricky will definitely play, this was the game he was targeted for which is really good. We’ve got him back on the timescale we thought he would.”

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