He seemingly fell out of favour at the New Zealand Warriors, but in the game of rugby league, new opportunities are everywhere – and for Ukuma Ta’ai, this was the case, with the prop signing a 3-year deal with the Huddersfield Giants in England.
Ta’ai, who is known for his hard-nosed, no-nonsense approach to footy, will join the club in November, but does have all the necessary paperwork and visa requirements sorted.
Paul Anderson, the head coach of the Giants, said that Ta’ai was a player on his radar for some time.
â€œUkuma has been on the Giants radar for quite a while, and when I heard he may be available for a UK move, I earmarked him as a priority signing,” said Anderson.
“He can play at prop or back row and we will work out how to utilise his skills best during the pre season.”
“He is physically a very strong man with natural size and strength, which allied to his aggressive style and off loading ability, makes him a dangerous Rugby league player. I want players with size and strike as we call it in the game, and Ukuma ticks all the boxes.â€
Ta’ai himself is pleased with the new opportunity, and looks forward to play for the Giants.
â€œIt will be a new adventure for me and my family overseas, and Huddersfield have a wonderful reputation here down under now as a good club to be at,” said Ta’ai.
“They are always in the play offs and I am excited about helping move them forward next year, and will be supporting them in this years play offs from here at home.”
“I think their style will suit my strengths as will the Superleague in general, so all we need do now is tie up the paperwork and plan for the move to the UK. It will be sad to leave the Warriors who have been very good to me, but the opportunity at Huddersfield excites me and my family.”