JUST who will be the Huddersfield Giants’ biggest rivals in Super League XVIII?
That’s the question on the lips of all the fans wearing claret and gold as the 2013 campaign prepares to get under way next weekend.
As normal, the usual suspects will be right up there, with champions Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves and St Helens guaranteed to be in the hunt.
The bookmakers are not seriously looking beyond the ‘big four’, but ambitious Hull are being widely tipped to muscle their way in after making the biggest impact in a largely subdued transfer market in the close season.
They signalled their intent by winning the battle for the prized signature of England back-row forward Gareth Ellis following his decision to leave Australian NRL club Wests Tigers.
Every club in Super League was interested, but the fact Ellis chose to move to the KC Stadium showed the Black and Whites clearly mean business.
As a result, Friday’s mouth-watering opening between the Rhinos and Peter Gentle’s men could provide an early indication of both teams’ title hopes.
Leeds are guaranteed to be challenging once more and coach Brian McDermott will be hoping this time to launch their play-off campaign from a more comfortable position than fifth.
They are also stronger after eventually finding a replacement for Keith Senior in the gifted Joel Moon, who looked a class act at Salford last season and could provide a lethal combination with winger Ryan Hall.