Giants land Kaufusi

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3rd October 2013

Huddersfield Giants have followed up the signing of Australian back rower Chris Bailey with the capture of his London Broncos team-mate Antonio Kaufusi.

The 28-year-old former Queensland State of Origin prop, who played for Australia and represented Tonga in the last World Cup, has signed a two-year deal and will help the Giants plug the gap created by the retirement of Stuart Fielden.

Kaufusi, who has made 49 Super League appearances for the Londoners since joining them two years ago, is the 11th player to confirm his departure from the Broncos, who are yet to announce a single signing for 2014.

The 6ft 3in, 17st 6lb Kaufusi played in two NRL Grand Finals for Melbourne Storm and also had spells with North Queensland and Newcastle before moving to Super League.

"Antonio brings a wealth of experience to the Giants," Huddersfield coach Paul Anderson said. "His pedigree is unbelievable. He's played in an NRL Grand Final, for Australia and in the State of Origin and there is no higher level of rugby league in the world than State of Origin.

"We've never replaced Stuart or Luke O'Donnell and, along with Chris (Bailey), he'll certainly add depth to our squad. When we spoke I told him I want to see the form that made him a State of Origin player and that definitely sparked something in him.

"He had a lot of options and it's a credit to us and where we are at that he saw us as an attractive proposition."

Huddersfield managing director Richard Thewlis said: "Antonio has made it clear he wants to play in the biggest games in the UK and get more honours under his belt.

"His NRL career was excellent and the challenge to him is to replicate that form in our environment.

"Physically he is a huge man and he is very much up for the task ahead which is of improving our squad and helping the younger players around him especially in the prop position where we do have some excellent prospects.

"His experience in the big game environment and first-hand knowledge of the work ethic of the Melbourne club where he came through to get international honours are attributes that can only benefit us.

"I am sure Giants fans will remember some of his performances against us in the past and will look forward to having him with us rather than against us."