HUDDERSFIELD Giants face four away fixtures in what promises to be a demanding pre-season schedule.
The majority of coach Jon Sharp’s squad return to training on November 19, with a Sunday, December 30 Infirmary Cup clash at Halifax (1.00) the first run-out.
That’s followed by a trip to Hull on Sunday, January 13 (2.30) for Paul King’s testimonial, a visit to newly-promoted Castleford Tigers a week later (3.30) and then a game against National League I Batley Bulldogs at Mount Pleasant on January 27 (3.00).
The game at Batley will be the Giants’ final pre-season outing before the start of Super League XIII two weeks later.
It’s expected that’s the game when Sharp will field the majority of his first-team players, including new recruits Luke Robinson (pictured right), George Gatis, David Hodgson and Paul Whatuira.
And the Galpharm chief is delighted with the way the pre-season calendar has fallen into place.
“It was always our plan to have four pre-season games,” said Sharp.
“That gives me ample opportunity to give everyone in the squad the chance to show me how they’re shaping up.
“It also gives me the chance to work on new combinations and give our new signings the chance to ‘bed’ themselves in.
“That’s particularly the case for Luke Robinson, who I am hoping will quickly form an effective half-back partnership with Kevin Brown.
“For the likes of these two, pre-season fixtures really are vitally important.
“We’ve got a lot of work ahead on the training ground, but the acid test is how they fair in the warm-up games.”