Ahead of this weekend's Nines tournament in Sydney and the following GB Tour, we caught up with Huddersfield's own Jermaine McGillvary to talk touring, Wakanda, and his upcoming testimonial
We're just a few days away from the inaugral Nines World Cup, how has the training been so far? Very tough, as the pitch is full-size but with only 9-a-side its going to be very tiring - but I suppose it’s the same for both teams! Training still pretty similar to the usual: moves, defence and intensity but just with fewer players.
And then there's no rest when it's done, as it's straight into the GB camp. Can you tell us about getting the call to say you'd made the squad? Yeah it was last weekend I got told, I was absolutely buzzing! It’s something I dreamed of when I played as a kid, as I thought internationals were just Great Britain...I never knew there was an England National team! So to get the chance to potentially wear the shirt is so real for me.
Speaking of shirts, we're big fans of the testimonial one that was released last month. Can you tell us about how the design came about? Thanks! It was just a bit of fun really, not something I took too seriously but enjoyed helping to design it. I told them I love Black Panther, especially the bad guy 'Killmonger', and we kinda took it from there really. We also did my face with the badge, similar to the Giants one, and put it all together.
But now obviously if/when you score in your testimonial you've got to do the Wakanda Forever salute... Haha we'll see!
Before our final game this year, you were pretty vocal about your disappointment with the season. With our Super League status guaranteed, what do you see as the key to the Giants having a better 2020? Yeah, I think there's quite a few things we need to improve on so that we can move forward as a team, and they're being addressed behind the scenes. I would say being in the situation we was in last was awful and we don’t want to be in that situation again so it’s important we get our preseason right to address these faults.
It looks like preseason has already started for a lot of the boys, hopefully you'll be getting a break after the tour. Got any plans for before you're back to work? I have an operation for when I'm back to deal with an old, minor issue, so I'll do that but I'm gonna come back straight away to maintain my fitness so im ready to go!
Any messages for the fans ahead of 2020? Hopefully the fans can stick by us in 2020. I'm certain we will be a better team, but can’t do it with their support. The season kicks off at the John Smiths with my testimonial game against Halifax - 12th January 2020, 3pm. See you all there!