Purtill returns early as Giants face Saints

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ASSISTANT Kieron Purtill begins his second stint with Huddersfield Giants tomorrow at the same club who axed him just four months ago.

His first game back is at St Helens where he was Royce Simmons’s deputy before the pair were sacked in March following a disastrous start to the Super League season.

Purtill, the England Knights boss, was not expected to return to club football until the end of the campaign when he was due to return to the Galpharm as Paul Anderson’s No2.

However, given Giants chief Nathan Brown was sacked 12 days ago and Anderson was elevated early, he has joined up this week to prepare them for the trip to Saints.

Free-falling Huddersfield approach it having won just once in their last nine games and in severe need of a boost.

Anderson admits the arrival of Purtill, who was in temporary charge of Giants with him when Jon Sharp was sacked in 2008, has been timely.

“Kieron has been good for us this week,” he said.

“Obviously it is not just my voice now; he has got an opinion and he gives it.

“That is why he’s here,” added Anderson.

Former St Helens prop Anderson maintains Huddersfield, who are clinging on to a play-off place, can still reverse their shambolic form.

“This group is not going to lie down, curl over and wait for the end of the season,” added Anderson.

“We don’t have a great deal of choice in regard to squad so we have to get people up, running and ready to fire again.

“This is a very good group of players; we’ve just got to get them enjoying rugby again and enjoying each other’s company as well.”

Impressive Saints, though, have not lost since falling against leaders Wigan in May and will provide stern opposition.

Huddersfield have Brett Ferres making his debut following the second-row’s switch from Castleford Tigers last Friday.

Kiwi David Faiumu and England Knights’ Michael Lawrence also return.

New signing Ferres said: “During training I have watched and listened, trying to take in as much as I could.

“You can’t help but notice the talent and the quality that is in the squad.

“There were six or seven guys sat out who would probably be starting in most Super League sides so we’ve got quality in depth which is good.

“I just want to be a part of that and try help out.”