Huddersfield coach Ian Watson says Giants will be ready to go

AS they get to grips with a Covid outbreak, Huddersfield Giants coach Ian Watson remains confident in whoever comes in against his former club Salford Red Devils – even if not cleared to play until the day of the game.

Right attitude: Huddersfield Giants coach Ian Watson. Picture by Allan McKenzie/

Huddersfield host their Super League rivals on Friday, the first time since Watson controversially left Salford last November to take up the role at John Smith’s Stadium.

However, his preparations are far from ideal; Giants saw last Friday’s game against Wigan Warriors postponed after the West Yorkshire club suffered seven positive Covid tests.

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It was the first time this season a match was called off due to the pandemic and, with track and trace and other reasons, they had 14 players due to be missing.

With many needing to self-isolate for 10 days, it is unclear how many will be able to face Salford. Also, the club as a whole only returned to training on Saturday after, for various reasons, nine days of no practice.

“We were looking forward to the Wigan game; we still wanted to play that,” said Watson.

“We were confident with what we had that we’d be good. It was disappointing and frustrating not to play more than anything but you understand why with all the Covid restrictions.

“Now, there is quite a few out with Covid and track and trace. We’re back training and there potentially might be a couple come back in the day before or actually on the game day.”

Huddersfield, who have won just three times this term, lost 38-12 to Wakefield Trinity last time out.

Watson added; “Our last game wasn’t good enough and there was potentially going to be changes on the back of that anyway. Players have got to understand if they want to keep their place in the team, basically they have got to earn it.

“Those who do come in this week have the right and have the opportunity to get in the team in terms of going forward.

“The beauty of ourselves is we have a squad and we are confident in those guys; our attitude will be that the next man is good enough to do the job and we’ll still go for the win.

“The best teams can still win when they have players out and we’ll look to show that.”