Luke Robinson on how Ian Watson built Huddersfield Giants’ formidable squad

Last week I suggested that Huddersfield have the deepest squad in the league. Yes St Helens have real quality as do Wigan and Catalans but in terms of depth, the Giants could very well be unmatched.

Against Leeds last night, the Giants vindicated that notion further with Ash Golding stepping in at fullback and on the wing for different spells in the game due to injuries and Tui Lolohea moving to six showing the versatility in the squad and an ability to cover a number of roles in a variety of ways.

Further cementing this is the fact that the Giants were perhaps without their three best players with Chris Hill and Theo Fages injured and Luke Yates suspended.

They even have depth where the coaches are concerned – Luke Robinson did a tremendous job filling in for Ian Watson who was isolating last night and after the game, he spoke about how Watson has built this formidable squad.

It’s the second time in Watson’s career he’s built a superb squad that can compete at the top having done so at Salford. Now, after some criticised him last season as the Giants flattered to deceive, his effect is taking hold of the Giants especially in terms of the squad.

This was one of the big things he wanted to deal with as well according to Robinson last night: “When Watto came in that’s what he first spoke about. The drop from 18, 19 squad numbers to high twenties was too big.

“It was probably a bit of an age thing. We’ve always produced some realty good young lads but we’ve probably blooded them too young and we’re probably seeing the fruits of our labour now to be honest.

“They probably played too many games at a young age and it’s benefitting us now.”

The Giants now have a week off which they’ll use to rest and then go again after the mid-season international. After which Robinson confirmed Olly Russell would be back – potentially to replace the injured Jack Cogger after last night.

Theo Fages is still a bit off.

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15 days ago

Watson was was my choice for Warrington coach. Gutted when he went to Huddersfield. Think they will be there or thereabouts come end of the season. Wouldn’t be surprised to see them at OT. They are fantastic to watch working and playing as a team not the dross currently being served up by Warrington. Good luck for the rest of the season.