Hull FC v Huddersfield Giants - Visitors down to unlucky 13 after Covid strikes

Huddersfield Giants will go ahead with Friday’s Super League game at Hull even though coach Ian Watson has been able to name just 13 players in his squad.

Giants head coach: Ian Watson has plenty of problems.

Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe
Giants head coach: Ian Watson has plenty of problems. Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

Badly hit by Covid, the Giants have lost hooker Adam O’Brien and centre Jake Wardle to major injuries and have also had five players selected for the Combined Nations All Stars team to play England on the same night.

Watson says the club considered asking for a postponement but have instead opted to field a youthful team, with the likelihood of two debutants.

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“It was off and for some reason they came back with the game,” Watson said. “I think it’s more circumstances.

“Hull don’t really want the game to be cancelled because it’s their first game with supporters.

“Would it have been better to postpone it? Yes potentially, especially with 10 guys coming back from Covid, but we’re trying to look at it positively. We’ll get on with it and accept it.

“We’ve still got 13 at the moment but the RFL are going through their processes, waiting for paperwork to be signed off and for young lads to be registered. We’ve got a team and we’re happy as well with what we’ve got to be honest.

“It’s exciting in many ways to see the youthfulness of the squad and the energy that brings. Training was fast this morning and energetic as well. They just need to control that and go out and perform.

“It’s what they’ve all been waiting for, the young lads and those out on loan, they dream of playing Super League and they’ve got to make the most of their opportunity.”

Hull have lost Jake Connor, Andre Savelio and Chris Satae to the All Stars but have Cameron Scott and Joe Cator back from injury.

“Connor and Satae have been their main players this year so that will change their dynamics but they’ve got helluva team,” Watson said.

“They’ve always been a top-end-table team, we will go there and put our best foot forward. We’ll hopefully give them a game and maybe cause an upset.”

Next week’s Hull derby between Hull KR and Hull FC has been postponed because of ongoing Covid-19 issues at the Robins.

Tom Halliwell, of Leeds, has been named captain of England Wheelchair for Saturday’s international against Wales at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.