Huddersfield Giants are aiming to make a smash and grab raid on the Super League points on offer at Catalans Dragons on Saturday.
For the first time the Giants are to fly into Perpignan on the day of the game and then return to England after the match – when a win would lift them above their rivals into the top eight of Super League.
“A number of teams have tried it and it has not done their performances any harm,” said Giants head coach Rick Stone.
“I suppose you could think about the warm weather and maybe want to acclimatise from that point of view, but we have decided to get in there and get on with the job in hand.”
While it will be the Australian’s first trip to France in charge of the Giants, he has experience from his playing days of just what the South of France is about.
“It is a long time ago now, nearly 30 years, but I played out in Marseille in the Aussie off- season,” explained Stone.
“It was when they were looking to expand the game into the cities in the South of France.
“Tas Baitieri was running things in France at the time and a lot of the Newcastle boys went over to play.
“They were good times and we had a lot of fun and I am looking forward to going back on Saturday.”
Stone’s side have already recorded an 18-10 win over the Dragons, currently being coached by caretakers Jerome Guisset and Joel Monaghan after the departure of head coach Laurent Frayssinous following that defeat to the Giants at the Magic Weekend.
However, Huddersfield were beaten 29-22 at the John Smith’s Stadium by the French side back in round nine of Super League and Stone is expecting another tough battle.
“It is always going to be a different scenario going to Catalans,” he said, whose side go into the game after a highly-impressive 44-4 home win over Warrington Wolves in round 17 of Super League.
“When you look at their results there is a marked difference between how they do at home as opposed to away games.
“They are certainly a different proposition on their own ground, they are comfortable there and the results show that.
“But we can’t get drawn into looking at that scenario, all we can do is concentrate on what we can control.
“After the Warrington game we are aiming to put together back-to-back winning performances – something we have struggled to do this season – and try and build from there.”
Stone expects to name a similar squad to the one that was selected for the Warrington win, with injured forwards Ukuma Ta’ai and Michael Lawrence still a couple of weeks away from making a return, while Tom Symonds is battling to return later in the campaign.