Huddersfield Giants coach Paul Anderson’s column: Why we’ve brought in Kyle Wood now

You’ve just welcomed Kyle Wood back to the Giants from Wakefield after two years away.

You’ve just welcomed Kyle Wood back to the Giants from Wakefield after two years away. Has his return provided another boost to the squad?

We’re delighted he’s here, and it’s a real bonus he’s returned now rather than for the start of next season.

We had agreed for him to join for 2014 on a three-year contract to add competition in the halves and at hooker.

But the advantage of Woody coming in now is that it will help us to rotate people.

So far this season we have been lucky in regards to the health of our halves.

Danny Brough and Luke Robinson, as well as (full-back) Scott Grix, have hardly missed a game this season, so with the arrival of Woody we’ve now got some extra depth in the halves at just the right time.

On top of that, because Woody and Robbo can play half-back or hooker, it means David Faiumu won’t have to switch between nine and the front or back-row.

Fuey has been doing a great job for us at hooker, but he can now focus on his primary role and become a running player again.

You were obviously assistant coach at the Giants when Kyle moved to Wakefield two years ago. Have you noticed a big difference in him during that time?

Yes, a huge difference.

For a start, he’s now an experienced Super League player who’s two years older.

As soon as he walked into training for the first time yesterday, you could see he had some confidence about him, both in terms of himself and his ability.

He left the Giants the other year as a kid and has returned as a 24-year-old man, who is now 100% comfortable training and playing at this level.

He’s certainly fit and raring to go if he gets the call to play at Hull FC on Sunday.

So how big a call would that be to include him?

We certainly won’t rush a decision on whether to include him in the 17 just yet. We’ll make that decision as the week goes on.

But we’ve certainly not brought him in not to play!

Although we don’t like thinking too far ahead, we are conscious of the fact we visit Warrington in the Challenge Cup quarter-final the following week.

Woody obviously won’t be able to play in that game because he’s Cup-tied.

So rather than putting him in against Hull on Sunday, there is a thought it may be better to go with the combinations we intend to use at Warrington the following week.

If that’s the way we decide to go, then Castleford at home on July 21 may be the day we see him back with us for the first time. But, as I said, we’ll give that one as much thought as possible.

Kyle’s arrival means on-loan Brad Dwyer has been allowed to return to Warrington. Are you sad to see him leave?

Yes, we all are. Brad’s been very good for us during his time here.

But obviously with Woody coming in straight away it means we don’t require Brad’s services any more.

But, when we look back at his time here, I think it’s safe to say Brad’s been good for us and we’ve been good for Brad.

Is there any news on the injury to Craig Kopczak yet?

No, we’re still waiting, I’m afraid.

The problem for Koppy is that there’s a lot of bruising and swelling around his damaged bicep. Because of that, we can’t fully assess the extent of the injury. We’re still waiting for the swelling to go down.

But we’re comfortable waiting, just as we are over Stuart Fielden’s fitness.

Stu’s now getting some extra miles in his legs following his knee surgery, and we’re waiting until he’s 100% ready.

That’s what we’ll be doing with Koppy and that’s what we’re doing with Jason Chan with his bicep injury.

We do still have prop options, with Anthony Mullally and Josh Johnson both busting a gut to be included, so we remain very comfortable when it comes to team selection.

Were you pleased with Luke George’s contribution against Catalan when he came in at centre for the injured Joe Wardle (knee)?

Overall, he did a good job for us and I was happy with his contribution.

We always knew it wouldn’t be perfect for him playing in the centres, because he’s played all his Giants career on the wing.

But he did play wing/centre at Wakefield and then played the same role during his loan spell at Hull KR the other month.

He certainly didn’t let anyone down at all on the night.

We’re still assessing the fitness of Joe Wardle this week, but we’ve not made a decision on what our options may be in the three-quarters at Hull just yet.

 
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