THE Giants have been warned they could be in for a testing time in their opening home game of Super League XVIII.
Huddersfield get their 2013 campaign under way at St Helens on Saturday, February 2 before hosting London Broncos at the John Smith’s Stadium eight days later.
Head coach Paul Anderson’s men will go into that clash against the capital club as favourites to triumph, with the Broncos having finished third bottom of the top-flight table in 2011 with seven wins from 27 games.
But the arrival of head coach Tony Rea for a second spell in the middle of last season sparked a mini on-field revival – they won four of their last five fixtures – and have recruited strongly for 2013 in a bid to maintain that momentum.
Those signings include former Giants utility man Tommy Lee, as well as the retention of all of last season’s leading players.
They have also seen an upturn in sponsorship, which has clearly bucked the current trend.
As a result, highly-rated Australian Rea believes the club has the potential to be the biggest in Super League.
And he is keen to get that message across with some strong early-season performances.
“The whole reason of being in London is we can be the biggest,” he said. “We should be and will be the biggest. At the moment we’re not that. We are quite a distance from that.
“It’s tough to bring a sport into a big city. It’s hard to bring the message, get the people and compete.
“If we can get through those things and come out the other side it will be due to the persistence and resolve of everybody involved in rugby league.
“I’m really encouraged with the way things are coming together and I’m confident we’ll be extremely competitive next season.
“We’re certainly determined to get off to a very solid start, and build on the positive way we finished last season.”
Rea himself has played a leading role, having spent time as a player, chief executive and head coach of the club from December 1994 until July 2006.
He returned to London to take interim charge of the club in July and the following month signed a two-year deal to remain as permanent coach.
And he is convinced the club will grow because of the standard at club and youth level in London and the south east of England.
“I got sold the good message to come here,” he added.
“I had the responsibility way back as a player as to how important this place is. I firmly believe it still has to be that.
“One of the wonderful things coming back (this year) has been to see not only what the Broncos, but the whole of London, are doing with rugby league.
“All those people working out there in clubs is really inspiring.”