LOANEE Jack Hughes is intent on bringing some of his champion class to Huddersfield Giants this season and reminding parent club Wigan Warriors he has what it takes to be a consistent Super League force.
The strong-running second-row was part of Wigan’s victorious 2013 double-winning Grand Final and Challenge Cup squad but did not feature as regularly last season, especially after they re-signed Joel Tomkins from Saracens in June.
With England internationals Sean O’Loughlin, Liam Farrell and Tomkins all on board at the DW Stadium plus John Bateman, the £70,000 buy from Bradford Bulls, he made just 10 league starts.
When Wigan head coach Shaun Wane then made a move to take Huddersfield prop/second-row Larne Patrick on loan for 2015, Giants counterpart Paul Anderson insisted Hughes came the other way as part of the deal.
The England Knights player, though, insists he has no point to prove to Wane when the campaign gets underway next month.
“I don’t see it like that,” the 22 year-old, who is now deep into pre-season training with the West Yorkshire club, told The Yorkshire Post.
“I could have stayed at Wigan and proved a point that way but Shaun has a full England starting back-row there so it was always going to be tough.
“I can prove a point to myself, though, and show I can hold down a starting spot in Super League. I was a bit frustrated at Wigan last year and this was an easy decision for me as now, at Huddersfield, there is a great opportunity to cement a regular role and show what I can do.
“There’s nothing specific Shaun has asked me to improve on but he says that this is just a chance to get some game time to find some good form.”
Hughes is likely to link up with Brett Ferres, the England second-row, at John Smith’s Stadium and hopes to help Huddersfield, the 2013 League Leaders, improve on last year’s third-place finish.
“They are a top side,” he added.
“People forget they finished on the same points as Wigan last season and I can see them being right up there again.
“They just fell short at the play-offs but, hopefully, I can help make a difference now and if I get to a final with them, too, that would be great.”
Unlike fellow England Knight Patrick, whose deal with Huddersfield expires this autumn, Hughes has longer to run with his parent club.
“I’m contracted at Wigan until 2016 and at the moment that’s how it stands,” he said.
“But we’ll see what happens towards the end of this year and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in with our first friendly next weekend.
“I’d like to get in that England side myself as well eventually but I need to be performing week in, week out first and I aim to do that with the Giants.”
Hull KR’S Jason Netherton, 32, will make his final appearance before retiring when Rovers take on Halifax in his testimonial game at KC Lighstream Stadium tomorrow.
The ex-Leeds Rhinos second-row has played more than 150 games for the Robins since joining in 2006 with Halifax and London Broncos his other clubs.