Ian Watson gives Huddersfield Giants players Challenge Cup carrot ahead of St Helens test

Huddersfield Giants head coach Ian Watson has told his fringe players that Challenge Cup semi-final spots will be up for grabs in tomorrow's clash with St Helens.

Ian Watson's side host the defending champions on Easter Monday. (Picture: SWPix.com)
Ian Watson's side host the defending champions on Easter Monday. (Picture: SWPix.com)

The Giants have a chance to cement their top-four place in Super League when they welcome the defending champions to the John Smith's Stadium.

Watson plans to freshen his side up on the back of a draining game against Leeds Rhinos at Headingley, handing opportunities to several players ahead of the upcoming cup date with Hull KR.

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He wants Huddersfield to prove they have the depth to last the pace this season.

Huddersfield Giants celebrate Jermaine McGillvary's try at Headingley. (Picture: SWPix.com)

"This one is a big challenge for us," Watson told The Yorkshire Post.

"We want to show the quality we've got within our squad because there will definitely be some changes.

"We've picked up a couple of bumps and bruises which will keep those players out but it will give others an opportunity to come in and stake a claim.

"Our game was pretty intense and the St Helens-Wigan game was definitely intense as well.

"I know they picked up knocks as well so I'd expect the line-ups to be a little bit different than they normally are.

"The guys who take the field will be keen to stake a claim to be in the first team permanently and get a semi-final spot when it comes around."

Changes were inevitable after Thursday's match against Leeds went to golden point, with Theo Fages and Chris McQueen conspicuous by their absence when Watson named his 21-man squad.

Huddersfield appeared to be on the brink of only a third defeat of the season before staging a remarkable late comeback to force extra time.

The Giants were unable to find a winner as the game went the distance but Watson was keen to take the positives rather than worry about the effect of Thursday's exertions.

"The position we were in 10 minutes before that we would have taken the extra 10 minutes," he said.

"It was a valuable point for us the position we were in. To go to Leeds and get something out of the game is a good result, especially when you're down by 10 points with a few minutes to go.

"To come away with a point shows good resilience. Their crowd were loud and brought them into the game early but our crowd really helped us in the last 10 minutes."