Huddersfield Giants snare top-quality former Australia star

Akuila Uate in action for Fiji against Australia during the 2013 World Cup semi-final. (SWPix)
Akuila Uate in action for Fiji against Australia during the 2013 World Cup semi-final. (SWPix)
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HUDDERSFIELD Giants coach Simon Woolford hailed the capture of another “world-class” winger after the glamour signing of Fiji star Akuila Uate

The ex-Australia international has joined from Manly Sea Eagles on a three-year deal and will be one of the biggest new arrivals in Super League for 2019.

Fiji's Akuila Uate takes on the Rochdale Hornets defence during a 2013 World Cup warm-up game. (SWPix)

Fiji's Akuila Uate takes on the Rochdale Hornets defence during a 2013 World Cup warm-up game. (SWPix)

Uate, 31, was named the best winger in the NRL during three consecutive years between 2010 and 2012.

He played State of Origin with New South Wales. scored three tries in five Tests for the Kangaroos and remains Newcastle Knights’ greatest-ever scorer with 110 in 161 games.

“Akuila is a player with true class and pedigree having scored over 100 NRL tries and playing at the highest level internationally as well as in State of Origin,” said Woolford, who worked with the player during his own time at Newcastle.

“So we’re really excited to add him to our ranks for 2019.

“In Akuila Uate and Jermaine McGillvary we have two world-class, outstanding wingers who are capable of scoring some magnificent tries and making some big metres during games.

“Aku will really strengthen our side as well as help to develop the number of talented young wingers at the club, particularly Innes and Louis Senior.

“I feel it’s a real statement signing from the club which shows our ambitions and where we want to be.”

Uate is relishing the prospect - “I am looking forward to joining the club, meeting the fans and being a part of a great culture” - and Giants managing director Richard Thewlis is similarly pleased to get the deal over the line.

“From the word ‘go’ Aku was Simon’s number one priority strike signing for 2019 and it was his relationship with him that went a long way to ensuring he will become a Giant,” he said.

“From reports Down Under and looking at his career he certainly has all the attributes to become a real fans’ favourite in the claret and gold.

“There is an awful lot of work going on quietly here away from the spotlight in terms of both the playing and support staff which we are working through in timely fashion to give Simon what he wants ahead of 2019.”