Injury-hit Huddersfield Giants have clinched the signing of former State of Origin second row Chris McQueen following his release from NRL club Wests Tigers.
The 33-year-old, who represented Queensland six times in Origin from 2013 to 2014, was contracted with Wests until the end of the season but it was confirmed on Friday morning he had been released.
McQueen has now joined Super League side Huddersfield on a three-month trial basis and Giants chief executive Richard Thewlis is delighted they have been able to bring him in, particularly given 13 players in the squad are currently sidelined.
“The injury scenario is quite alarming and has caused concern to everyone, thus when we heard that Chris was looking for an opportunity we jumped at the chance,” Thewlis said.
“His record speaks for itself and the agreement we have is simply to the end of the year to enable him to showcase his undoubted abilities to us and the Super League as a whole.”
McQueen, who earned one cap for England in the 2017 mid-season test against Samoa and qualifies for the national team through his father, was already in the process of applying for his British passport prior to the Giants contacting him about making the switch to Super League.
That process was subsequently fast-tracked and, speaking ahead of Huddersfield’s clash with St Helens on Friday evening, the Brisbane-born forward told Sky Sports reporter Jenna Brooks he is eager to prove himself worthy of earning a long-term deal over the next three months.
“I do see this period as a trial, to put myself on show to show I can still play at the top level – and that’s exactly what I want to do,” McQueen said.
“I want to earn a contract for another one or maybe two years. My body still feels good, so I definitely want to keep playing.
“I pride myself on being a hard worker and good, solid defender. I just want to run hard, show up for my team-mates and be one of those hard-working players.”
Although he played his junior rugby in his home state, McQueen made his NRL debut for South Sydney Rabbitohs in 2009 and stayed with them until the end of the 2015 season.
He was part of the team which won the NRL Grand Final in 2014 and was among the try-scorers as they defeated St Helens in the following year’s World Club Challenge, and made over 100 appearances for the club before joining Gold Coast Titans for two years and then Wests.
Along with having represented England and Queensland, he has also previously been selected in Australia’s Prime Minister’s XIII team for their clashes with Papua New Guinea.
All being well, McQueen should be available for selection for Huddersfield’s clash with Leeds Rhinos on Friday, September 11 and Thewlis believes this short-term arrangement suits all parties.
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