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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 February, 2005, 10:07 GMT
Battle-scarred De Vere makes Giants leap
By Phil Gordos

Michael De Vere is stapled up
De Vere stays calm as his head is stapled in full view of the cameras
Michael De Vere's record speaks for itself.

He has played for Brisbane, New South Wales and Australia and played in Grand Finals, State of Origins and World Club Challenges.

He has scored match-winning tries, made match-saving tackles and kicked last-minute goals.

He has also stood on the side of the pitch, head dripping blood, while a doctor pumps staples into a nasty gash over his right eye.

That abiding image from the first match of the 2003 State of Origin series led to a furious debate over so-called "sideline surgery".

De Vere admits he was taken aback when he saw the doctor rushing out to meet him with a staple gun in one hand.

"But it stopped the bleeding," he tells BBC Sport.

"People have asked me if it hurt. When the adrenalin was flowing it wasn't that bad.

It's feeling good, feeling strong, but I've just got to wait
Michael De Vere on his recovery from knee injury

"But it hurt when I'd cooled down after the game and I had the staples removed and stitches put in."

The game at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane was a particularly brutal one.

"There were a few wounded soldiers," recalls De Vere. "Players were dropping like flies.

"I'd had a head cut for a while but I though it had healed so I didn't tape it up.

"Then I had another head clash and it split open again."

Players are normally escorted to the changing rooms to have such injuries attended to, but not on this occasion.

Michael De Vere
De Vere will miss the first weeks of the season after knee surgery
"It was a quick fix," says De Vere. "I didn't worry. I just wanted to stay out there for the team."

It is that dedication to the cause coupled with his undoubted talents that no doubt prompted Huddersfield to swoop for De Vere's services last year.

Hailed as the club's biggest signing in recent times, it will be several weeks before the 28-year-old finally gets to pull on a Giants shirt, though.

De Vere has been sidelined for six months after undergoing knee surgery and does not expect to resume playing until the end of March.

"It's feeling good, feeling strong, but I've just got to wait," he says.

"It's frustrating because I want to get involved. It's hard watching the boys run around in training.

"I can do some things but I can't do any contact for a month or two."

Huddersfield will hope to have a made a decent start to Super League X by the time De Vere does return.

"They seem to be moving in the right direction," De Vere says of his new club.

I wanted to come to a club that I could make a difference at
Michael De Vere

"They are really ambitious. Talking to the coaching staff, they seem really professional and want to be successful."

De Vere had several offers from English clubs keen to sign him, but he opted for the Giants.

"I'd achieved everything I wanted to in Australia and wanted to play in England for a couple of years and be successful over here.

"I had nine great years at the Brisbane Broncos and felt the time was right to leave.

"It was probably the best nine years of my life, but I wanted to come over here while I was still enjoying my foot and still competitive."

But why Huddersfield? "I wanted to come to a club that I could make a difference at," he says.

"Our goal is to make the top six this year. They went close last year but I think we can go one better."




SEE ALSO
Giants swoop for De Vere
21 Jul 04 |  Huddersfield


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