HUDDERSFIELD Giants centre Joe Wardle is hoping for a more straightforward start to his game preparations ahead of tonight’s trip to St Helens – and not fearing ringing his coach Paul Anderson in the middle of the night.
The Scotland international became a father for a second time in the early hours of Sunday, before his side were due to tackle former club Bradford Bulls.
The arrival of Raiden meant expected disruption for Wardle although it did not affect his performance as he scored his fifth try of the season in Huddersfield’s brilliant 54-16 success.
However, it was the prospect of calling Anderson – the giant ex-Great Britain prop – rather than sleepless nights and dirty nappies that more concerned the player, who admitted: “I was scared to do it.
“He said to give him a ring when it all happened but it was 3.30 in the morning before I got around to it and I thought ‘I don’t want to be ringing now!’
“But, in the end, I sent a text out.
“He’s great with the lads like that. He’s totally understanding and (about playing Bradford) said to see how I felt and if I was okay and ready to play just to crack on.”
Wardle continued: “We got down to the hospital at Halifax for about 12.30 and the baby was there at two o’clock, a little boy called Raiden which is the same as someone in Mortal Kombat, something I didn’t know until one of the lads mentioned it.
“I was there all night and left at 7am. I had a little sleep, 10 minutes here and there, but not much. It was a long night but all worth it and to get two points and score in a big win over Bradford just rounded it all off. Now we need to back it all up at Saints.”
Huddersfield are without winger Jodie Broughton after he injured a groin against Bradford.
But Jermaine McGillvary does return after an ankle problem and Brett Ferres – the second-row who returned from his five-game ban last week – plays his 200th Super League game.
“I love playing outside Brett,” said Wardle, of their left-side link.
“He’s a good, intelligent player who helps my game a hell of a lot.
“We (Giants) have hit some form now after a poor start but we had a lot in the World Cup and it took time to get back gelling.
“We’ve won five on the trot now which is good for confidence going into this Saints game.”