Huddersfield Giants coach Paul Anderson has told his young and injury-depleted squad to go out tomorrow night and thoroughly enjoy the experience of hosting Wigan Warriors.

Huddersfield head into the John Smith’s Stadium Super League XXI encounter (8.00) lacking the services of seven first-choice players.

Craig Huby (broken hand), Luke Robinson (retired/hip), Joe Wardle (quad) and Kyle Wood (quad) were all absent for last Friday’s 30-16 defeat at St Helens in their first competitive game of the season.

But with captain Danny Brough (dead leg), Eorl Crabtree (groin) and Scott Grix (shoulder) also now ruled out after suffering injuries at Langtree Park a week ago, Anderson has been forced to call on younger members of his squad far earlier in the campaign than anticipated.

In fact, tomorrow’s squad includes a couple of part-time players in 18-year-olds Sam Wood – who is set to start at centre – and winger Darnell McIntosh.

But rather than facing the fixtures with trepidation, Anderson is facing it with excitement.

“Clearly, it’s hugely disappointing to be without this number of senior players,” said Anderson.

“But I’ve made no secret of the fact of how pleased I’ve been with the way the younger end of our squad have accepted the pre-season challenges they’ve faced and the way they acquitted themselves in the trial games. They all contributed to the very solid wins over Hull KR and Catalans Dragons.

“This home game against Wigan tonight is clearly a massive step up, but I’m personally excited to see how they handle the occasion.

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“My message to them ahead of kick-off is to make sure they enjoy the experience and appreciate what a fantastic opportunity they’ve been given. It’s not everyone who gets the chance to play against Wigan in front of the Sky TV cameras.

“I’m sure there will be a few nerves out there, but I’ve told them how important it is for them to get involved in an early tackle and get that first carry. They’ll feel a lot better after that.

“Having said all that, the one thing with young energy is that there’s no real fear associated with them, because they don’t really know failure.

“Some of the blokes who are a bit older probably think about things a lot more deeply and that can affect what they’re doing.

“For the young fellas, it’s a case of seeing it as an opportunity and do what they can to show their future lies at the highest level.”

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A classic example of that was full-back Jared Simpson’s debut in last season’s home game against Wigan, although Anderson points out he was helped by having so many senior players around him that day – something the young player won’t be getting as much this time around.

“I’ve spoken to the senior boys about the importance of their roles tonight,” added Anderson.

“I really am looking for Jerry, Leroy, Murphy, Jamie (Ellis), Hinchy, Bruno, Larne, Raps and Ukuma to lead by example and make sure they give us the best possible chance.

“I know that if they can all hit their ‘A’ game then the other blokes will follow.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing that happen.”