THERE will be few people as proud as Huddersfield Giants’ Chris Thorman at St James’ Park tomorrow.
A lifelong Newcastle United fan who grew up in nearby Wallsend and became the first Geordie Super League coach, he looks set to be in charge at the famous venue for the West Yorkshire club’s game against Wakefield Trinity.
Australian Simon Woolford had planned to be in the UK to take up the role of Huddersfield’s head coach in time for the Magic Weekend contest.
However, his arrival has been delayed once more as he awaits his visa.
“The Magic Weekend is an enjoyable weekend,” said Thorman.
“I’m a bit biased but St James’ Park is one of the best sports arenas in the north of England.
If this group is on it and we do things together defensively, we execute our game plan then I’m confident of another good performance.Huddersfield Giants’ Chris Thorman
“The people in Newcastle are brilliant and really embrace rugby league.
“Hopefully, they’ll turn up in record numbers again. With Simon, it is what it is. We’ve been dealing with it pretty well over the past few weeks. We’re in constant communication, we talk everyday and I don’t think between us we sleep that much.
“He’s still having an influence even from that far away.”
Woolford was announced as Rick Stone’s replacement on April 30 but Thorman – in interim charge since March 27 – continues again and has overseen successive wins over Widnes Vikings and last Friday’s Challenge Cup victory over Wakefield .
He said: “We’ll definitely talk about Wakefield having a response and changing their squad because I think they probably will.
“At the same time, if this group is on it and we do things together defensively, we execute our game plan then I’m confident of another good performance.
“For us, it’s difficult to change a winning team after winning our last two.
“We play the same team again in Wakefield but having the option to change things is always nice.”