Lunt looks forward with Giants
Shaun Lunt is content to put his Grand Final triumph behind him after returning to Huddersfield Giants in style.
The former Workington hooker fell out of favour under Nathan Brown at the Giants last season and, after asking to go out on loan, landed a dream move to Leeds Rhinos.
Lunt was a big success at Headingley and fancied a longer stay after playing in the Rhinos’ 26-18 Grand Final win over Warrington Wolves in October.
However, he was recalled by Huddersfield to fulfil the rest of his three-year contract and marked his return with a hat-trick of tries in yesterday’s 36-12 pre-season friendly win over Widnes Vikings.
“I said I would have liked to have stayed at Leeds but sometimes in life you don’t get what you want,” he said.
“I’ve been back at Huddersfield doing all the pre-season with the boys and I’ve really enjoyed it. I’m a lot happier with how I’ve been treated.
“I lost my spot and you just want to play rugby at the end of the day. I had a great year at Leeds but, instead of dwelling on the past, I’m just looking forward to the season with the Giants.”
Lunt, 25, won England honours after breaking through into Super League in 2009 but fell down the pecking order at the Giants last season.
He lost the number nine jersey to Luke Robinson and also found himself behind Scott Moore and David Faiumu.
That has all now changed under Brown’s successor Paul Anderson, with Robinson reverting to scrum-half, although Lunt insists he did not seek any guarantees from the new head coach.
“I got the nine shirt back which I’m really pleased about but I’m not a player who wants guarantees about playing every week,” he said.
“I reckon if a coach says ‘if you’re fit, you’re in the team’, that’s when you can take your eye off the ball a little bit.
“I just wanted to know that, if I’m playing well and doing the business on the pitch, then I’ll get picked the week after.
“That’s the only reassurance I want and he’s given me that so I’m very happy.”
Lunt’s return to the John Smith’s Stadium has coincided with the arrival of an influx of new team-mates, particularly forwards.
Anderson has gone for size with the recruitment of Stuart Fielden, Craig Kopczak and Anthony Mullally, who all made their first appearances for the club yesterday, and, with Tongan international Ukuma Ta’ai still to arrive, Lunt is excited over the prospects for the new season.
Huddersfield kick off their campaign against Brown’s new club St Helens on February 2 and Lunt does not see why they should not end it at Old Trafford and give him a chance of a second Super League ring.
“There are a lot of new faces,” he said.
“Obviously there are some big men who have come in and they are all good players.
“As a nine, there’s nothing better than playing behind a great pack. Hopefully they can get us going forward and I can work off the back of them.
“I reckon we’ll do really well. We won’t peak at the start like we have in the past.
“With a lot of new faces, I reckon we will build week in, week out and, come the end of the season, we’ll be firing on all cylinders.”