Super League is back with some huge games like Leeds Rhinos taking on St Helens, Wigan Warriors and Leigh Leopards meeting in another huge derby after different experiences in the Challenge Cup semi-finals last week meanwhile Hull FC and Huddersfield Giants meet on Sky Sports on Thursday night.
The Giants have had a disappointing season by the standards of the expectations around them but have turned the corner in recent weeks.
Meanwhile, it would be easy for Hull FC to feel down after watching their rivals make it to a Challenge Cup Final.
However, there is a lot to be positive about for the Black and Whites. After back-to-back wins against Hull KR and Castleford Tigers, the Black & Whites will be aiming to make it three victories in a row this week as they take on Ian Watson’s side in the Betfred Super League Round 20 clash.
Smith has made two changes to the squad that was named in advance of the clash against the Tigers earlier this month, with young forwards Will Gardiner and Zach Jebson coming into the side to replace Carlos Tuimavave (hamstring) and Jamie Shaul (calf) – both players drop out with knocks.
Tex Hoy remains unavailable for selection with a hamstring injury, while Mitieli Vulikijapani continues his recovery from knee surgery.
📋 Tony Smith has named his 21-man squad for Thursday's Betfred Super League Round 20 clash against @Giantsrl at the John Smith's Stadium…
🤝 In association with @JadanPress.
— Hull FC (@hullfcofficial) July 25, 2023
As for Huddersfield, Ian Watson has made some big decisions. Theo Fages and Seb Ikahihifo return to the 21 after their respective spell’s on the sidelines, with Will Pryce and Jack Ashworth dropping out.
It is a bit of a surprise to see a star name like Will Pryce seemingly dropped.
This is an indicator how how many options the Giants have in the spine with Jake Connor, Tui Lolohea, Theo Fages and Oliver Russell all named in the squad this week.
Fages has been in and out of the squad lately with an injury.
He is expected to join Catalans Dragons next year whilst Will Pryce is headed to Newcastle Knights alongside Wigan Warriors star Kai Pearce-Paul in 2024.
𝗦𝗤𝗨𝗔𝗗 𝗡𝗘𝗪𝗦 🟠
— Huddersfield Giants 🐮🔔 (@Giantsrl) July 25, 2023
It should be a terrific game come Thursday night at 8pm in front of the Sky Sports cameras.