Former New Zealand international Frank Pritchard is a man on a mission as he seeks to make his mark in Super League.
At 32, the former Penrith and Canterbury Bulldogs forward is arguably in the twilight of his career but, as he prepares to make his second appearance for Hull against Catalans Dragons in Perpignan on Saturday, he insists he still has much to offer the game.
“While I’ve energy in my heart and power in my legs, I’ll do what I can to help give the Hull supporters what they want,” said Pritchard, one of five high-profile signings made by the Airlie Birds who made their debuts in last Friday’s opening 42-20 win over Salford.
“The club has underachieved over the last couple of years but, to their credit, this year they’ve gone out and signed a lot of players.
“It would be fulfilling for a lot of players to help them get that monkey off the back. I’ve definitely come here with a job in mind to help the club move forward.”
Pritchard, who played for Samoa in the 2014 Four Nations series, rejected a late bid from the Warriors in order to take up a two-year deal with Hull, with the option of a third season at the KC Stadium.
“It’s always good to be wanted by another club but, that late in the season, my decision was already made and I’m a man of my word,” he said.
“I had a year on my contract in my favour at the Bulldogs but I think it’s the perfect time to come to England. I’ve three kids who are old enough to travel and like to see a different culture.”
Hull captain Gareth Ellis, the former England forward who is set to make his comeback in Perpignan from a seven-month injury lay-off, says Pritchard is already making an impact at the club.
“I’m really excited about playing with Frank,” Ellis said. “I’ve played against him a few times when he was at the Bulldogs and with New Zealand, and I’m looking forward to being on his team this time around.
“He’s the life and soul of the changing room so he’s added a lot to our group as a unit and we’re obviously expecting big things of him in terms of his performance as well.
“He’s quite an inspiring player, someone that plays well and brings people along with him. I’m sure he’ll have a big impact on Hull this year.”