GIANTS hard man Luke O’Donnell can’t wait to be part of what could be one of the most explosive pack battles of the Super League season so far.
The former Australia Test back-row forward is desperate for Huddersfield to bounce back from last week’s defeat to champions Wigan when they face Hull KR at Craven Park in front of the Sky cameras tomorrow (5.45).
O’Donnell will again be expected to lead from the front against a Robins side boosted by the arrival of controversial former Kangaroos ace Willie Mason.
The widely-feared forwards were teammates at North Queensland Cowboys last season and have also played together at Test and State of Origin level during their illustrious careers.
On top of that, they faced each other for more than a decade in the Australian NRL.
And with O’Donnell having also squared up to Hull KR Aussie enforcers Ben Galea, Mick Vella and Joel Clinton while Down Under, the Giants man is predicting fireworks.
"This should be another great game, and one I’m really looking forward to," said O’Donnell.
"Quite a few of the blokes at Hull KR are pretty familiar to me. They are all top performers and make the team one to be reckoned with.
"But all the recent focus has been on Willie, who I know is really happy to be over here and playing at last after his visa problems.
"I’m not surprised he’s made such a big impact in the short time he’s been here, because he’s been a good player for a long time now.
"We both started playing in the NRL in 1999 and were two of the youngest forwards in the game at the time, and we’ve been involved in some great battles with each other over the years.
"It’ll be good to catch up with him, both on and off the pitch.
"I’m sure we’ll be part of what will be a great game."
O’Donnell is expected be part of a new-look Giants back row.
Head coach Nathan Brown is once again employing his rotation policy, with Andy Raleigh and Danny Kirmond standing by to make their first appearances of the season.
They come into the squad to replace David Fa’alogo and Graeme Horne, who sit out their first games of the season, while Jamie Simpson makes way for Jermaine McGillvary on the right wing.