In this series, we put together the ultimate Super League starting 13’s for each club that has seen at least five seasons in the competition.
Today it’s the turn of Huddersfield Giants, so here’s who we think would make their ultimate Super League XIII…
1. Brett Hodgson
NRL Premiership winner Hodgson was Huddersfield’s big-name signing when he was unveiled in 2009 and certainly lived up to his billing. Not particularly known for his try-scoring ability, Hodgson provided security at the back and picked up points with his prolific goal kicking instead, notching up 182 in 51 games. Such was his effect on the club and the competition, that he was named Man of Steel at the end of his first season – a deserved accolade for such a classy player.
Notable mentions: Danny Arnold, Scott Grix, Paul Reilly
2. Jermaine McGillvary
McGillvary has been a staple in the Giants’ side since debuting in 2010. In 249 games for the club, he’s scored 171 tries as well as racking up over 20 international caps. His direct running and strong leg drive make him a threat from anywhere on the field, while his finishing ability is undeniable.
Notable mentions: Andrew Frew, Stuart Donlan
3. Leroy Cudjoe
Injuries have curtailed Cudjoe’s career of late but, like McGillvary, he’s been at the heart of Huddersfield’s squad for years. A former captain, his athleticism and offloading ability have constantly earned him praise, while his try-scoring tally currently stands at 116 in 276 games.
Notable mentions: Brandon Costin, Dean Hanger
4. Michael De Vere
The Australian signed in 2005 after spending his whole NRL career at Brisbane. A former Kangaroos international and New South Wales Origin representative, De Vere was a real coup for the Giants and impressed during his two seasons in West Yorkshire. He scored points in all but 10 of the 42 games he played, racking up eight tries and 101 goals.
Notable mentions: Paul Whatuira, James Evans
5. David Hodgson
Hodgson had a four-year spell with the club between 2008 and 2011 and was one of their most prolific try-scorers during that time. He was the Giants’ top scorer in 2009 and 2010, notching 21 and 25 in those seasons respectively, with efforts ranging from long-range scores to neat finishes in the corner. In total, he scored 65 tries in 93 games, before moving to Hull KR in 2012.
Notable mentions: Aaron Murphy, Luke George, Marcus St Hilaire
6. Chris Thorman
Thorman had two spells with the Giants, between 2000 and 2008, sandwiching stints with London and Parramatta in between. He was always a popular figure at the club, though, and brought leadership and consistency to the side. His kicking game was a real asset, while he was never afraid to run at defenders and take on the line. He finished his time at Huddersfield with 50 tries and 332 goals in 156 appearances.
Notable mentions: Kevin Brown, Stanley Gene, Craig Weston, Gene Ngamu
7. Danny Brough
There were plenty of top halfbacks to choose from but Brough’s extraordinary point-scoring record means he simply can’t be left out. In nine years at the Giants he amassed 1,809 points from 245 games, including 51 tries and 790 goals. He’s often divided opinion as a player, with his confident nature rubbing some fans and players up the wrong way, but that’s partly what makes him such a talent. He’s got a swagger about him and that certainly plays into his game.
Notable mentions: Luke Robinson, Robbie Hunter-Paul, Paul March, Aidan Sezer
8. Eorl Crabtree
Crabtree is a true modern-day hero at the John Smith’s Stadium. A graduate of the club’s academy, he made his debut in 2001 and would go on to make over 350 appearances in a 16-year career – the most of any Giants player in the Super League era. He was a linchpin the Huddersfield forward pack throughout his career, showing nothing but passion and pride in the badge, and was rewarded for his ability with 14 England caps.
Notable mentions: Paul Jackson, Mick Slicker, Larne Patrick
9. Brad Drew
The stocky Australian arrived in West Yorkshire after relatively mundane spells with three NRL clubs, but would go on to make a big splash in Super League. He soon gained admirers for his workmanlike attitude and fearless nature, constantly cutting down players much bigger than him, while also linking well with the halfbacks in attack. He stayed with the Giants for the three seasons, before moving to Wakefield in 2008, but returned to the John Smith’s Stadium to bow out in 2010, ending his stay with a total of 100 appearances for the club.
Notable mentions: Ryan Hinchcliffe, David Faiumu, Shaun Lunt, Ryan Hudson, Adam O’Brien
10. Keith Mason
Mason is one of several workhorse props to don the claret and gold but just pips them to this spot. Alongside Crabtree, Mason formed a formidable front row full of aggression and power, with his tough contact and strong leg drive consistently setting a platform for the backs to work their magic. He made 150 appearances, helping Huddersfield into the play-offs in five of his seven seasons there.
Notable mentions: Jim Gannon, Darrell Griffin, Andy Raleigh, Ukuma Ta’ai
11. Brett Ferres
Ferres was one of the stars of the Giants’ League Leaders Shield winning side in 2013 and that season was the highlight of a impressive four-year period. Him and Danny Brough formed a deadly combination down the left edge, with Ferres’ evasiveness and offloading ability creating plenty of try-scoring opportunities. He made a total of 77 appearances, scoring 29 tries.
Notable mentions: Jamahl Lolesi, Joe Wardle, Chris Nero, Lee Gilmour
12. David Fa’alogo
New Zealand international Fa’alogo was an excellent coup for Huddersfield when they secured his services from South Sydney ahead of the 2009 season. He was renowned as a tough, hard-hitting back rower and was an ideal addition to a forward pack full of quality. He quickly became a favourite among fans and would go on to have three solid years at the club, making over 50 appearances and earning further representative honours with Samoa and the Exiles.
Notable mentions: Ben Roarty, Martin Aspinwall, Steve Snitch
13. Michael Lawrence
Huddersfield’s current longest-serving player, Lawrence has given everything to the club over the past 14 years. He debuted in 2007 aged 17 and has since become one of the Giants’ most-loved players, showing unrivalled commitment and dedication to the cause. Originally an outside back, his size and strength have seen him develop into a naturally gifted back rower, while he now serves as one of Simon Woolford’s main leaders. He’s closing in on 300 appearances, and has scored 50 tries.
Notable mentions: Stephen Wild, Stuart Jones, Steve McNamara