Huddersfield Giants head coach Rick Stone has been boosted with the return of two pack powerhouses for the home Super League clash with table-toppers Castleford Tigers on Thursday.

Both rising star Nathan Mason and former New Zealand international Sam Rapira will be on duty as the league leaders come to the John Smith’s Stadium.

The pair missed the Giants 31-12 away victory at Leeds Rhinos in the last round of Super League – a win that ended the Giants nine match run without a win – but Stone is happy to return them to the squad.

“Nathan had a bit of concussion and Sam a hamstring strain after the Swinton game so they missed last time out,” said Stone.

“But they are both in the frame for the game against Castleford.”

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However, Stone still waits on a number of players on the long-term injury list with the next pair due back being England international centre Leroy Cudjoe (knee) and close season signing Lee Gaskell (hamstring).

However, with more than a week’s grace between the Castleford clash and their next Super League outing against Catalans Dragons at the Magic Weekend in Newcastle, Stone is happy to give the duo time to ensure a full recovery.

Sam Rapira of Huddersfield Giants (Pic by Ste Jones)

“We are still looking at the long-termers, but Leroy should be okay in a couple of weeks,” said Stone.

“Lee also needs a couple of weeks, but given that we have a break after the Castleford game we will wait for the Catalans game.

“It means that Sam Wood will probably keep his role at half back.

“He did well enough against Leeds, and he is helped in that Danny Brough takes a lot of the ball in that position.

“But Sam is a young players and Half back is a big responsibility and he is growing into it.

“A few more games and a few more training sessions and he will become ever more confident in the role.”

And Stone is happy of having a few training sessions this week after a flurry of games over the Easter period.

“It is not something I am perhaps used to but you still have to get the job done even if the scenario is different,” said Stone.

“ There have been a lot of games in a short space of time and it is about managing bodies and their recovery which is something we have had to deal with.

“But the basic principles are still the same and this week we have the luxury of a seven day interval.

“The Leeds game has helped because any time you win helps, but we have worked really hard and at Leeds we got our reward for that.”

The Giants will be without winger Jermaine McGillvary, who is on duty with England for the mid-season international against Samoa, while Castleford will be missing Luke Gale, Zak Hardaker and Mike McMeekan.