We take a look at what is being said and team news ahead of Friday’s matches, which see Huddersfield Giants host Salford Red Devils and Wigan Warriors face Hull KR…
Huddersfield Giants vs Salford Red Devils (7.45pm)
Richard Marshall is confident Salford are on the right track after a recent visit to training from England head coach Shaun Wane.
The national team boss joined the Red Devils at one of their sessions last week, passing on his thoughts and some tips to Marshall.
Wane’s comments have given the former Halifax boss encouragement results will soon start to turn as they search for only their second Super League win of the year away to Huddersfield.
“I had a really good chat with Shaun Wane last week, he came over and looked at our environment,” Marshall said. “Not to pick the bones out of it, just to give us some tips and he was really impressed with what we’re trying to do here.
“He gave us some good feedback. He’s honest and that’s one of the key traits for myself as well.”
Marshall has been further boosted by the return of Dan Sarginson from a three-match ban, while forwards James Greenwood, Ryan Lannon and ex-Huddersfield duo Josh Johnson and Oliver Roberts are all back in contention too.
🏠Ian Watson discusses the process of naming this week's squad to the press ahead of tomorrow's game against Salford Red Devils.
To watch the whole interview, subscribe to GiantsTV today: https://t.co/whps5YC45g pic.twitter.com/JNNrtub2OV
Huddersfield, meanwhile, will have a full 21-man squad to choose from after initially only being able to name 17 earlier in the week due to the lingering effects of the Covid-19 problems which saw last week’s game against Wigan Warriors postponed.
Darnell McIntosh, Matty English, Chris McQueen and James Cunningham are still ruled out though, with Ashton Golding and Oliver Wilson being recalled from loan spells with Championship side Bradford Bulls. Luke Yates and Lee Gaskell are available again too.
Meanwhile, head coach Ian Watson is pleased to the Giants are back in front of their home fans for the first time this year as they aim to bounce back from a 38-12 defeat to Wakefield Trinity in their last outing.
“I’m glad it’s at Huddersfield, with all the Huddersfield supporters rather than all the Salford supporters at the moment,” Watson said ahead of the clash against his old club.
“Hopefully they can get behind us after the result at Wakefield and they can drive us on to another win.”
Huddersfield Giants: Ashton Golding, Jermaine McGillvary, Jake Wardle, Ricky Leutele, Lee Gaskell, Aidan Sezer, Luke Yates, Adam O’Brien, Michael Lawrence, Kenny Edwards, Joe Wardle, Josh Jones, Joe Greenwood, Jack Cogger, Oliver Wilson, Leroy Cudjoe, Louis Senior, Owen Trout, Sam Hewitt, Ronan Michael, Olly Ashall-Bott.
Salford Red Devils: Morgan Escare, Ken Sio, Joe Burgess, Lee Mossop, Andy Ackers, Seb Ikahihifo, Ryan Lannon, Elijah Taylor, Oliver Roberts, Greg Burke, Josh Johnson, Chris Atkin, Harvey Livett, James Greenwood, Rhys Williams, Dan Sarginson, Jack Ormondroyd, Jack Wells, Sam Luckley, Dec Patton, Ben Davies.
Wigan Warriors vs Hull Kingston Rovers (7.45pm)
Liam Farrell cannot wait for an opportunity to help Wigan get back to winning ways as they prepare to return to action against Hull KR after an enforced week off.
𝙏𝙚𝙖𝙢 𝙧𝙪𝙣 𝙙𝙖𝙮! 💪💪
Tomorrow we return to the @DWStadium with our fans! 🥰#NeverGonnaStop 🍒⚪️ #WWRL pic.twitter.com/eH0D7hn6FW
The postponement of their game against Huddersfield denied the Warriors an immediate opportunity to make amends for their first defeat of the Super League season when they were beaten 48-0 away to Catalans Dragons.
Second row Farrell is wary of the dangers posed by a Rovers side who go into this match on the back of an eye-catching 40-4 win over Salford last week, but there is a desire among the Wigan squad to right the wrongs of their last match.
“There’s been a wait for us to get back out there, so we want to put things right,” Farrell said. “The lads have been champing at the bit.
“We know about the kicking game of Jordan Abdull and the abilities of Shaun Kenny-Dowall. We’ve focused in on their threats in training and we will have to overcome them on Friday night.”
Liam Marshall and Oliver Gildart are both set for their first Wigan appearances of the season, but the absence of Zak Hardaker as he begins his two-match suspension means one of those or youngster Umyla Hanley could start at full-back.
Meanwhile, Hull KR are the latest club to be affected by Covid-19 as one player returned a positive test earlier this week and at least three others had to self-isolate through the track and trace process.
“From all the information I’ve read, Covid is now part of our society and with its variants is likely to have an impact for the next two or three years,” Rovers head coach Smith said.
“How our sport is going to cope and live with it over the next couple of years is something that we need to work out if we’re going to remain viable as a sport and also financially viable as a sport.”
Smith will have to check on the fitness of Jordan Abdull, George Lawler and Dean Hadley as well after they all picked up knocks against Salford, but he does at least have prop Albert Vete available again.
Wigan Warriors: Dom Manfredi, Oliver Gildart, Liam Marshall, Tommy Leuluai, Brad Singleton, Sam Powell, Joe Bullock, Willie Isa, Liam Farrell, John Bateman, Oliver Partington, Morgan Smithies, Liam Byrne, Harry Smith, Ethan Havard, Jake Bibby, Joe Shorrocks, Kai Pearce-Paul, Umyla Hanley, Jackson Hastings.
Hull Kingston Rovers: Adam Quinlan, Ben Crooks, Greg Minikin, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Ryan Hall, Jordan Adbdull, Albert Vete, Matt Parcell, Korbin Sims, Brad Takairangi, Kane Linnett, Dean Hadley, Jez Litten, George Lawler, George King, Matty Storton, Will Maher, Luis Johnson, Muizz Mustapha, Jimmy Keinhorst.
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