Huddersfield Giants boss Ian Watson has revealed that new signing Andre Savelio is among one of several players carrying injuries just a over fortnight out from the Super League launch.
Savelio was one of Huddersfield Giants’ key signings ahead of the 2024 campaign with Watson’s side aiming for a vast improvement on their 2023 season.
The Giants placed ninth which was a major disappointment after plenty of pre-season hype, some of which had seen their major signing Jake Connor claim the club had the best squad in Super League.
Watson has gone to the well again in the transfer market with the Giants making seven signings including three NRL recruits.
Those signings have been necessary though with the club losing three players to retirement in Josh Jones, Chris McQueen and Nathan Peats, whilst impressive young talents Will Pryce and Owen Trout also departed.
That means that Andre Savelio’s injury is even more of a blow with the former Hull FC man seemingly set for a big impact at the John Smiths’ Stadium in 2024.
Watson confirms injury woes
At the team captains run ahead of today’s clash with London Broncos head coach Ian Watson spoke on expectations for the game, the likely squad but also who will miss out.
That’s when it was confirmed that signing Savelio had picked up an injury, something that Watson confirmed when speaking to the Huddersfield Giants YouTube channel.
He explained: “With Dre it’s just that things happen in preseason, Fenton Rodgers you could mention as well there, things have happened in preseason which have kind of put them behind the ball game if you like so it’s about building them in at the right time and then getting them back in action when we can do.”
Watson didn’t confirm a timescale for when the new signing was back but he did state that England international Chris Hill will miss their final pre-season game, and is instead targeting round one of Super League against Leigh Leopards.
“Obviously, we know Hilly got injured playing for England last year, Harry (Rushton) obviously got injured for us unfortunately halfway through last year with an ACL. They’re both doing real well in terms of their comebacks,” the Giants’ boss confirmed.
“Hilly looks great, he’s joined back into full training next week, so he’s looking good. He might not be ready for the Castleford game, but we’ll see where he gets to potentially for the Leigh game. Harry Rushton, a few more weeks behind that.”
NRL recruits to debut for Huddersfield Giants
Another thing that Watson confirmed was that the clash with London today would see more first-teamers feature, the Giants having played plenty of youth in their wide victory over Championship side Dewsbury Rams.
Despite playing lower-level opposition he spoke about the impressive nature of the performance: “We played against Dewsbury last week but also maintain certain things in our areas like defence, we thought we was pretty good.
“We controlled the ruck well there and we didn’t concede any tries as well so that’s something that we’ll be looking at to try and replicate.”
However, the game today with London will see the likes of Adam Clune and Jack Murchie debut with Watson keen to get them in front of the Huddersfield Giants faithful.
“Them guys will start this game. I think it’s important that you build them up, it’s different if you think about in the NRL, they don’t really start their trial games getting towards the end of March, so it’s probably a little bit earlier for them.
“So they’ve been over in the pre-season finding the feet, gives them a little bit of a look of what Super League is, especially playing at home, to get to know what our home crowd’s like, what are the facilities are like, so they get comfortable in that environment as well.”
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