Rick Stone: I’ve got a point to prove

New Huddersfield coach Rick Stone admits he has a point to prove after his NRL coaching career was cut short at Newcastle last year.

A year ago Stone was axed from his role with the struggling Newcastle Knights. The 49-year old had been with the Knights as an assistant and head coach for nearly a decade.

Stone has been appointed as Paul Anderson‘s replacement at the Giants and landed in the UK this week.

“The way I finished, I got dumped, it definitely dented my reputation,” he admitted.

“There is no doubt about that. I was really disappointed, it took me a bit of time to get my engine re-charged for the game.

“But it’s a game I love and, when the opportunity came, I was really keen to throw my hat in the ring.

“I’m absolutely honoured and delighted to come and be the head coach.”

Stone said he spoke with former Huddersfield player Chris Bailey and ex-Giants coach Nathan Brown, who know coaches Newcastle, among others before he took the job.

He arrives with Huddersfield preparing for the Middle 8s.`

“I understand the situation we’re in,” he said.

“It keeps you on your edge because in the next couple of weeks, things get really serious at the back end of the season for us.

“A relegation system is not something I’ve experienced before but sudden-death footy has been around for a long time and, even though it can be quite daunting, it can be quite exciting at the same time.

“I know at this point in time, there’s a reality of it there. I know the squad on paper has a number of quality players and it’s my job to bring the best out of them.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

Stone said he will try to keep Jake Connor at the John Smith’s Stadium, with the utility embroiled in a transfer saga with Hull FC.

“He’s a player we’d like to keep and I’ll do everything in my power to help Jake stay at Huddersfield next year,” he said.

“He’s a good, young player and he’s very confident in his own skin at the club. There’s a little bit to sort out there but I don’t know the details at the moment.”

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