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Season Preview: Huddersfield Giants

Simon Woolford surprised many people when he arrived at the John Smiths Stadium half way through last season and guaranteed the Giants safety after winning nine out of 10 regular season games before the Super 8s started.

They quickly became a defensive powerhouse and now with a full pre-season behind them I expect them to be perfectly save from relegation. However, a top four finish may be a push.

Jake Mamo, Danny Brough, Jordan Rankin and Ryan Hinchcliffe have all exited but all the new arrivals have something to offer in their own way.

Akuila Uate fills the void of Jake Mamo, and is seen as a bigger attacking threat by Giants fans.

Matt Frawley comes in without too much excitement but with 31 appearances for Canterbury Bulldogs in the NRL he has so much potential that could ease the worries of losing Brough, who was a dressing room  leader.

The amount of youngsters coming through the academy also gives hope to the Giants and this year is very much a building year for Woolford, who may look to give the Senior brothers a run, as well as giving Darnell McIntosh time at fullback.

Scott Grix has been bought in to coach the under 19s, and is also a playing option. Luke Robinson has been upgraded to assistant.

Sebastine Ikahihifo remains for now and Suaia Matagi will improve after impressive cameos last season.

Strength of depth is still an issue for Huddersfield though and if they sustain multiple injuries they could struggle.

One such injury is that of Jermaine McGillvary, he has been ruled out for atleast the first three months of the season. However, either one of the Senior brothers, Louis or Innes, could step into that role and show Giants fans why they don’t need to worry after they put the Australian Schoolboys to the sword with England Academy.

Squad:

Darnell McIntosh, Jermaine McGillvary, Leroy Cudjoe, Jordan Turner, Akuila Uate, Lee Gaskell, Matt Frawley, Paul Clough, Kruise Leeming, Suaia Matagi, Aaron Murphy, Alex Mellor, Michael Lawrence, Adam O’Brien, Ollie Roberts, Dale Ferguson, Ukuma Ta’ai, Daniel Smith, Matty English, Jake Wardle, Joe Wardle, Olly Russell, Tom Holmes, Colton Roche, Sebastine Ikahihifo, Adam Walne, Sam Wood, Sam Hewitt, Jon Luke Kirby, Louis Senior, Innes Senior, Reiss Butterworth, Isaac Farrell.

INS:

Reiss Butterworth (Bradford Bulls), Matt Frawley (Canterbury Bulldogs), Akuila Uate (Manly Sea Eagles), Scott Grix (Wakefield Trinity), Joe Wardle (Castleford Tigers)

OUTS:

Sam Wood (Batley – loan), Ryan Hinchcliffe (retired), Mikey Wood (Bradford Bulls), Tyler Dickinson (Batley), Nathan Mason (London Broncos), Danny Brough (Wakefield Trinity), Jake Mamo (Warrington), Jamie Greenwood (Oldham), Tyllor Mellor (Warrington), Liam Johnson (Dewsbury Rams), Jordan Rankin (Castleford Tigers).

Predicted League Finish: 7th

 

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