Giants sign Kiwi forward Ikahihifo

Huddersfield Giants new backrow forward Sebastine Ikahihifo, from St George Illawarra Dragons

Auckland-born Ikahihifo joined the Dragons after four seasons with New Zealand Warriors

Huddersfield have signed New Zealand-born loose forward Sebastine Ikahihifo from St George Illawarra Dragons.

The 25-year-old former New Zealand Warriors player has been signed on a two-and-a-half-year deal.

Ikahihifo, who is set to make his debut at Magic Weekend on 22 May, joins a Giants team lying 11th in Super League.

Paul Anderson’s side, who are being kept off the bottom only by struggling champions Leeds, have won just three of their 14 league games this season.

But they are into the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup after a 36-22 home victory over Leeds in the sixth round.

Ikahihifo, who joined Sydney-based Dragons from New Zealand Warriors last September, had to be released from a two-year deal with the Australian NRL side.

The signing of the 6ft 2ins forward, subject to international clearance, should bolster the Giants for the second half of the 2016 campaign, starting with their Magic Weekend meeting with St Helens at St James’ Park, Newcastle.

“We have lost a number of players from the squad for various reasons,” said Anderson. “Sebastine will bring size, maturity and grit to our pack.

“We have been looking for quality players for a long time now. I am really pleased that Sebastine has decided that now is the time for him to come to the UK and that we are the club of his choice.

“He is someone we have looked at previously but he wanted to remain in the NRL. Now that’s changed we will welcome him with open arms.

“Final clearance is expected to be finalised any day now and will hopefully be completed ahead of Magic Weekend.”

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