McQueen deal was a ‘no-brainer’, says Woolford

Huddersfield head coach Simon Woolford has described the deal that brought NRL back rower Chris McQueen to the club as a ‘no-brainer’ and is hoping his experience will rub off on the Giants’ youthful squad.

The 33-year-old ex-England international joined the club last week following his release from NRL club Wests Tigers, for whom he made 10 appearances in the past three seasons.

He significantly bolsters Woolford’s side and the Giants’ boss says it was a move that made sense both the player and the club.

“Chris came back from a serious injury a couple of years ago and he’s struggled to get game time with the Tigers,” Woolford said. “Thankfully the Tigers have been really good, they’ve given Chris the opportunity to come across and put himself in the window to get a new contract.

“He’s going to bring a wealth of experience, he’s a real pro. He’s going to be another guy the younger kids can learn from and more importantly we believe that he’s still capable of playing some really good rugby league.

McQueen has made over 150 NRL appearances since his debut in 2009.

“The next couple of months ahead of us, we’re going to need as many bodies as possible, so I feel we’re fortunate to get Chris and he’ll be thrown straight in this week. There’s no settling in period for him, that’s for sure.

“He hasn’t played a lot of footy but he did play a couple of weeks ago for the Tigers, so he’s professional enough, he’s experienced enough.

“With where we’re at with our squad, all of a sudden our middle forward stocks have taken a bit of a battering. He’s certainly come at a great time.

“So it was a no-brainer for us. It was cost effective for the Giants, we’re happy to have Chris and we’re grateful to the Tigers for doing their bit.”

McQueen won’t be the only change to Woolford’s squad to face in-form Leeds on Friday, with several big names set to return to action, including star halfback and captain Aidan Sezer.

Woolford added: “It’s a lot stronger this week. Ash (Golding) is back, Darnell (McIntosh) is back, Jake Wardle’s back, Sezer’s back, Chris McQueen’s arrived. So we’ll resemble quite a different team to what we did last week.”

Sezer has missed the Giants’ last two games with a hamstring injury. Credit: News Images

“Obviously Sezer’s an important part of our team and you can see the difference just having him back at training.

“He’s here for a reason – to run our team – and he’s fitted straight back in, and our training has certainly gone up a couple of notches with him back.

“It’s getting to the stage now where we need to win, and we’ve had a good week. We’ve had a tough month really but we’re looking to get our season back on track.”

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