HULL prepared for their big showdown with St Helens in Huddersfield tomorrow knowing they could face a battle with the Giants for Wigan pair Steven Wild and Martin Aspinwall.
While the Giants remained tight-lipped on any interest in the highly-rated centres, sources in Lancashire suggest they could make a play for the duo.
If deals can be agreed for Great Britain international Wild, 24, and 23-year-old England A player Aspinwall, who is a good friend of Giants forward Stuart Jones, the pair would join up for the 2006 Super League campaign.
Challenge Cup semi-finalists Hull, whose coach John Kear previously worked at Wigan, are also thought to be keen on Wild and Aspinwall.
But the fact that the pair could join Huddersfield without the need to relocate from Lancashire could count in the Giants' favour.
While Aspinwall becomes a free agent at the end of this season, Wild is under contract for another year.
But with Wigan coach Ian Millward ready to reshape his squad after a disappointing season - five signings have already been announced - it's thought the club would be willing to let him go.
While former Giants coach Kear is keen to carry forward third-placed Hull's bright form into Super League XI, his immediate priority is the big Galpharm match-up with Cup holders Saints (3.15).
Hull's supporters will be under the spotlight in the first of two Galpharm semis in as many days (Leeds play Toulouse at 1.45 on Sunday).
After their 2000 semi defeat by Leeds at Huddersfield, fans invaded the pitch and tore down the posts.
Prop Jason Southwell, back from a loan spell at Featherstone, plays for the Giants Senior Academy side against Salford at Laund Hill tomorrow (12.00).
Team: Hull; Sutherland, Knight, George (M), O'Brien; Walker, Mennell; Southwell, Robinson, Holdsworth, Tillotson, Gledhill, Garside. Subs (from): Wilkinson, Tsang, Clarke, Flaherty, Williams.