Hull FC coach Lee Radford has no qualms with throwing Setaimata Sa straight into action at Headingley tonight – but concedes his new signing will be “sore” for a few days afterwards.
The ex-New Zealand star, who is equally adept at centre or back-row, arrived on an 18-month deal this week after a frustrating time in rugby union with London Irish.
It is hoped Sa, who left Catalan Dragons at the end of 2012, will bring some much-needed drive, power and class to a Hull side hoping to avoid a fourth successive defeat.
The former Sydney Rooster has not played, though, since Irish’s Amlin Challenge Cup win over Lusitanos XV in January.
Radford said: “Physically he is a really big thing and he’s going to add a bit to us.
“It’ll be tough for him this week as he’s only had two sessions with us; he’s getting thrown in at the deep end.
“But he’s won a World Cup, he’s an NRL regular, player of the year at Catalan for two years – he’ll be a great addition.
“We’ve had a look at his fitness and if we get anymore than what we’ve asked for him it will be a bonus. He’ll be sore after Friday, that’s for sure.
“He brings a bit of quality to us and it is fairly obvious right now that is needed. We are over the moon to get him in.”
Radford has urged his side to produce the correct effort levels from the first hooter against Leeds Rhinos tonight having witnessed them charge up only when Jason Crookes was sent off in Saturday’s derby defeat versus Hull KR.
“The boys had a dig when we went down to 12, but I’ve told them this week, let’s not wait until we are 18 points down to show that effort,” he said.
“Let’s do that from the off and go there confident. I don’t want to see a response in the game; I want to see us start well and maintain it.”
He knows they will need to be at their finest given the class in Leeds’s ranks.
“Leeds’s back field is phenomenal – the best in the world in my opinion,” added Radford, about the likes of Zak Hardaker and Ryan Hall.
“You have to get your kick-chase right against them because if you don’t you’ll find yourselves regularly stood underneath your own posts.
“They are also a team where one off-load turns into 10 very quick.
“If we make as many mistakes as we did against KR they’ll hurt us.”