Anderson: Giants can be gentle
Huddersfield coach Paul Anderson says big is beautiful but insists there is more to his giant pack of forwards that simply brute force.
The signing of Wales captain Craig Kopczak, Widnes youngster Anthony Mullally and Tonga international Akuma Ta'ai as well as Anderson's old Bradford team-mate Stuart Fielden has added considerable bulk to a pack already boasting the 6ft 6in, 18st 6lb frame of England prop Eorl Crabtree.
Anderson, nicknamed Baloo for his resemblance to the Jungle Book character, and Fielden were part of the "awesome foursome" (alongside Joe Vagana and Brian McDermott) that laid the platform for Bradford Bulls' trophy-laden era in the early days of Super League.
But the former Great Britain international admits the game has moved on from those days and believes his new-look pack have much more to offer.
"We're not just big, we're athletic as well," Anderson said. "Gone are the days of myself and Joe Vagana. They're big but they can get around the field.
"What we've tried to do is to help Eorl Crabtree because as a front rower he carried us last year with his size and presence.
"We're trying to take the pressure off him. You can't always play 70 or 80 minutes and you can't always play every game so we've got to help him."
Crabtree, who played all but two of Huddersfield's 32 matches in 2012, will make his return from close-season shoulder surgery in Sunday's friendly against Widnes at the John Smith's Stadium.
Kopczak, Mullally and Fielden will also get a first run-out in the claret and gold but Giants fans will have to wait to get their first glimpse of the 6ft 2in, 17st Ta'ai, whose arrival from New Zealand Warriors has been held up by visa issues.
The big Tongan has been given a training schedule by Huddersfield as he waits for the paperwork to be completed but Anderson remains unconcerned over the delay which is likely to rule him out of the Super League opener against St Helens on February 2.
"We'll start the year with Michael Lawrence, Jason Chan, Brett Ferres and Jamie Cording in the back row and we've got Bobbie Fairbank as well so we're pretty healthy," he said.
"When he comes over, he'll add a new dimension to us. We'll figure out how best to use him but he adds to what we've brought in with regards to physicality. He's 110 kilos and 6ft 2in so he's a big specimen."