Ian Watson confirms “interest” in Super League man and reveals rivals have ‘asked about loans’

Noon today is the cut-off point for clubs to register new players so that they’re eligible to play in this current season and that deadline has seen a flurry of massive moves this past week, Tyler Dupree’s move to Wigan Warriors kickstarting it before yesterday’s shock switch of Blake Austin swapping Leeds Rhinos for Castleford Tigers.

It’s been a very busy week and whilst there are just three hours left at the time of writing, there could still be some more last minute moves that catch the eye.

One team who haven’t been too involved at all are Huddersfield Giants with Ian Watson’s men having headed into the season with what owner Ken Davy dubbed ‘the greatest squad during his time with the club’, but those lofty expectations have sadly not been met with the Giants running in tenth but looking to extend a three game winning streak tonight against Castleford.

Watson’s team adding the likes of Kevin Naiqama, Esan Marsters, Jake Bibby and of course Jake Connor before the season but it hasn’t clicked until recently as they aim to sneak into the playoffs, although realistically they may need to win seven of their remaining eight games to do so.

Ian Watson spoke with the media this week revealing the players they have looked at for 2024, more or less confirming that no deals will be done at the John Smith’s today.

Asked about Hull FC’s Andre Savelio, Watson explained: “He’s somebody we’ve looked at, yeah. Again, he’s a good player, he’s kind of at the right age for us, he’s kind of destructive in attack and he played pretty well last weekend.

“I remember him carrying Oliver Russell nearly 25 metres down the field at one point. So yeah, he’s somebody who’s of interest to us for definite.”

Savelio’s dominance of Russell was to no avail with the Giants running out 19-12 winners, Russell being perfect with the boot slotting three from three and adding a drop goal to put the game out of reach.

Whilst Watson didn’t confirm 0r deny the club would be making any moves today, he did note the injury issues that his team are dealing with, when asked if he expected any business either in or out.

“I don’t think so. I wouldn’t think so. We’re pretty low on numbers at this moment in time, but we’ve got 20 fit players at the moment in time. I know we’ve named a 21, but we’ve got 20 at the moment. I just believe, obviously, naming the 21 is the right thing to do.

“There’s been some teams that I’ve asked about loans but like I say, we’ve let Innes go out and we’ve got a couple of the younger players out.

“Everyone says about us having a big squad, obviously sat here right now with 20 fit players, it doesn’t seem like you’ve got a big squad.”

Watson’s men will continue their playoff push tonight as they travel to the Jungle, before they face St Helens next week when others teams get a rest – the Giants having to play the previously postponed game the day after the Challenge Cup Final.