Rick Stone believes an intense England v Scotland Four Nations clash will be of huge benefit to the Giants.
The Huddersfield head coach admits he’s looking forward to watching the fierce rivals go head-to-head in front of a bumper Ricoh Arena crowd in Coventry tomorrow (5.30pm).
He’ll obviously be taking a particularly keen interest in the way his two Giants perform on the international stage, with winger Jermaine McGillvary lining up for England and half-back Danny Brough leading the Scots.
Unfortunately, there’s no place for fellow Huddersfield man Ryan Brierley, who has been left out of the Bravehearts squad as he continues to recover from the slight ankle injury he picked up during last Friday’s 54-14 defeat to Australia in Hull.
Stone would have loved to have seen his potential 2017 Super League half-back pairing testing themselves against the English this weekend.
But he still knows how much Brierley will have benefited from being involved on the international front.
“I’m disappointed for Ryan, but he’ll be learning so much from being part of the Scotland camp,” said Fiji World Cup head coach Stone.
“I thought he did well against the Australians last week, and he should take a great deal of confidence from that.
“He’d be the first to admit he’s still got a lot to learn, but training and playing with Scotland won’t be doing him any harm at all.
“In fact, any exposure to the international environment is good for a player, however experienced or inexperienced they are.
“Clearly, Jerry and Broughy are two of our more experienced blokes in the squad, and I know how much they’re both looking forward to being involved in this weekend’s game.
“I’m sure it’ll be a full-blooded Test encounter and the Scots will give it everything they’ve got.
“Jerry and Broughy both enjoy testing themselves out against top-quality opposition, and I know how much it’ll mean to them to play well.
“That would give them an extra spring in their step ahead of their return to pre-season training later in the year.”
The Giants’ senior pre-season programme gets under way on Monday week (November 14) with most of the squad checking in for work.
The exceptions will obviously be the Four Nations trio, as well as Leroy Cudjoe (ankle), Aaron Murphy (shoulder) and Tom Symonds (knee), who have undergone minor surgery.
But also absent will be young back-row forward Oli Roberts, who played a leading role in helping Ireland secure World Cup qualification but picked up a foot injury in the final game.
“All reports I received from Ireland was that Oli played very well and was fairly instrumental in what the Irish did,” added the Australian.
“Unfortunately, he did finish Ireland’s qualification campaign by picking up an injury which will keep him off-feet for about a month.
“But that will give him time to take a well-earned break and then return to us ready to build on what was a very encouraging season for him.”