Luke O’Donnell set for Huddersfield Giants return at Leeds Rhinos

THE EAGERLY-AWAITED return of Luke O’Donnell could be one of several changes as the Giants look to bounce straight back against Super League champions Leeds Rhinos at Headingley on Friday night.

Huddersfield Giants' Luke O'Donnell

THE EAGERLY-AWAITED return of Luke O’Donnell could be one of several changes as the Giants look to bounce straight back against Super League champions Leeds Rhinos at Headingley on Friday night.

Huddersfield are still smarting from Sunday’s disappointing 40-22 defeat at Hull KR when victory would have taken the Giants back to the top of the table.

And Galpharm chief Nathan Brown has already made it clear he is looking to alter his squad in a bid to find a winning formula once again, with former Australia Test back-row forward O’Donnell set to lead a number of potential returning stars, including fellow forwards Lee Gilmour and Keith Mason and first-choice hooker Luke Robinson.

These three have already featured in Super League this season, but it will be O’Donnell’s first taste of action following a knee reconstruction six months ago.

Brown has revealed the blockbusting packman has been fit for several weeks, but now feels the time could be right to bring him back into the fray.

“Luke’s fit and ready to play,” confirmed Brown.

“In fact, he’s been fit for a couple of weeks, but after such major surgery we didn’t want to risk bringing him back a little too early. It just wasn’t worth taking the risk.

“He’s looked good in training and he’s shown us that the time is now right to put him back in, which is obviously good news.

“And, as well as Luke, Keith is also 100% fit after minor surgery and keen to get back out there.

“That’s also the case with Robbo and Gilly, who will no doubt have benefited from being rested at Hull KR last week, particularly as it’s enabled them to get over their little niggles.”

Two changes from the side beaten by Rovers have, of course, been forced, with Kevin Brown (ankle) and David Fa’alogo (finger) ruled out through injury.

Brown is expected to be sidelined for a month, although Fa’alogo could miss just this week’s trip to Headingley.

 

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