Giants set to swoop for winger from St George-Illawarra after sealing their Super League future
KALIFA Faifai Loa is set to link up with Huddersfield from the NRL.
The St George-Illawarra winger was linked with a move to League One newcomers Toronto Wolfpack.
But sources say the 27-year-old, who has played for both New Zealand and Samoa, is ready to agree a switch to the Giants.
Faifai Loa has made just two appearances for the Dragons in the NRL this year but has been a target for several Super League sides.
And Huddersfield have taken advantage of securing their top-flight future by qualifying for the Super 8s to make their move.
However, skipper Leroy Cudjoe has insisted things never became fraught as Rick Stone’s men looked certainties for the Qualifiers until four wins and a draw from their last six games pushed them up the table.
Now he is aiming for the top four and a Super League semi-final spot.
He said: “We’re delighted to seal our place in the Super 8s. After experiencing the Qualifiers last year, it was something we as a team didn’t want to go through again.
“This year the belief has been there all season, we just had to keep working hard and doing the simple things a lot more consistently. Once we did that, we were able to build and that’s what we have done in the last 10 weeks.
“Having that security of making the top eight in the back of your mind helps ease a bit of the panic of not knowing what next year might bring.
“But not once did anyone speak about what might have happened, we all knew where we wanted and needed to be. Having everyone on the same page helping to achieve the goal of getting into the Super 8s was good.
“Target two now is to push for that top four spot. We’ve got a great squad that is coming together and playing well together so there’s no reason we can’t achieve a top four finish.
“We have a few key players coming back from injury and that’s only going to add quality to the team. We know it won’t be easy but we all have faith in one another that we can put some pressure on the teams above us.
“The culture we’ve got at the club means we aren’t just happy with a Super 8s finish. We want to make a difference and put down a marker for this year and next year.”
Another thing centre Cudjoe is aiming for is playing himself into a place in England boss Wayne Bennett’s World Cup squad.
Leeds’ Kallum Watkins and St Helens’ Mark Percival seemingly hold the slots, then there is Wigan’s Oliver Gildart, Castleford’s Zak Hardaker – who played at centre in May’s Test win over Samoa, and Hull’s Josh Griffin, who he is up against tonight.
And the 29-year-old knows there is only one way he can push his claims, by doing the business over the next eight matches.
Cudjoe added: “Playing for England is still very much the aim for me, but playing well for Huddersfield and helping us win games is my main concern.
“If I do that then I’m sure everything else will fall into place off the back of it. Playing in the Super 8s and playing well can only help my chances of getting back into that England side.”
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