Tom Symonds prepares to make his mark on Super League with Huddersfield Giants

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Huddersfield are set to give new signing Tom Symonds his Super League debut against Salford on Friday.

The Giants completed the signing of the 27-year-old Australian back row-forward before the weekend but held back the announcement due to the serious injury sustained by academy player Ronan Costello, who tragically died in hospital on Tuesday.

Huddersfield managing director Richard Thewlis said: “Tom has been spotted here in the town this week but our focus since Saturday has been elsewhere as all understand. Today, given RFL deadlines, we have to release the news which is a pre-prepared statement most of which from some time back.”

Symonds, who has signed a three-and-a-half year contract, has been given the No 11 jersey vacated by England second rower Brett Ferres on the eve of the season and named in coach Paul Anderson’s 19-man squad for the game at the AJ Bell Stadium.

“Tom is a player we enquired about a few years back but he was still making his way in the NRL then and since then has gone on to establish himself at Manly,” Anderson said.

“We have been looking for a back rower for a considerable period, as most people know, so we were particularly pleased when one of our hundreds of calls Down Under proved fruitful in that Tom was looking for a fresh start in the UK.

“This has been a devastating week for everyone at the club and my thoughts remain with the Costello family and friends.”

Symonds made his NRL debut for Sydney Roosters in 2009 and has spent the last four seasons with Manly Sea Eagles.

“I’m really excited to be here,” Symonds said. “It’s been a slow couple of weeks, waiting to get over here, but now I am here I can’t wait to get out on the field and start playing.

“Coming over to the UK was something I have always wanted to do. The timing of it wasn’t something I guess I had planned but the opportunity came up a couple of weeks ago.

“I sat down and really thought about it and decided it was the best option for me going forward and I’m excited for the new experience on the other side of the world.

“Hopefully, I can bring some experience to the group but for me it’s a case of firstly earning the respect of the boys straight away, ripping in at training and working hard. I’m certainly keen to play, I haven’t played the last couple of weeks so I’m definitely ready to rip in.”

Manly coach Trent Barrett said: “Tom has been a fantastic member of our playing squad and a great contributor for the club over the past few seasons. We wish Tom all the best in the future and thank him for what he did at Manly.”