Time for Huddersfield Giants youngsters to step up in absence of Lee Gaskill says Jermaine McGillvary

ENGLAND winger Jermaine McGillvary is ready to make a belated return for Huddersfield Giants and is confident they can cope without injured Lee Gaskell.

Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com - 14/02/2020 - Rugby League - Betfred Super League - Salford Red Devils v Huddersfield Giants - AJ Bell Stadium, Salford, England - Huddersfield's Jermaine McGillvary in action.

McGillvary, 32, missed the club’s restart game at Leeds Rhinos when they saw a huge lead slip and agonisingly lost 27-26 in Golden Point extra-time.

They did not have a fixture last weekend but face Warrington Wolves at St Helens on Saturday and he confirmed he will resume.

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“I’m fit now and I got back in training at the back end of last week,” explained the Great Britain star.

18 August 2019...... Huddersfield Giants v Castleford Tigers Super League. Giants Tom Holmes tackled by Tigers Mike McMeeken and Jamie Ellis. Picture Tony Johnson.

“I’ve had problems with my back from the start of the season and they came back again – my back and hammy – so it was more precaution I didn’t play at Leeds.

“There’s a lot of games coming up and Germ (coach Simon Woolford) said I might as well miss out that game, get right and come back again for Warrington.”

Playmaker Gaskell, though, will be missing having broken a thumb in the closing stages of the Leeds defeat.

He is out for five weeks after surgery and – having formed such a promising partnership with Australian Aidan Sezer – McGillvary concedes it is a significant blow.

“It is massive; Gasky’s one of our best players,” he said.

“You saw against Leeds how good he was; he set up tries and had a great kicking game so he’ll be a huge miss.

“It’s the story of our season the last couple of years – key players getting injured – but it’s time for one of the younger lads to stand up now and be counted.

“We’ve Olly Russell and Tom Holmes who are both fighting for that spot and they both deserve a shot. It’s come in difficult circumstances but it’s their time to shine now whoever gets it.”

Warrington, littered with McGillvary’s Lions team-mates such as Gareth Widdop, Blake Austin and Chris Hill, vanquished bottom-placed Hull KR 40-10 on Saturday.

He said: “I wouldn’t say it was the most high quality game to watch. But Warrington did a job and you saw a glimpse of the quality when they do get into their rhythm. No team are into their rhythm yet and when they do they’ll be class with the half-backs they have and that star-studded team. But we’re more concerned about what we do and getting back up and running.”

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