LUKE ROBINSON will play for the Giants against Super League champions Wigan at the Galpharm on Friday.
The 26-year-old hooker missed the start of the season after undergoing major shoulder and elbow surgery last November.
But the England Four Nations hero has received the all-clear to play and goes straight into the Giants side for the big Sky TV showdown against the unbeaten Warriors, much to the delight of head coach Nathan Brown.
“Robbo’s fit and ready to go,” confirmed the Galpharm chief.
“He’s got the all-clear to play and completed three weeks of training, so we know he’ll be right.
“This is obviously a big game in which to make your return, because Wigan are the champions and it’s going to be a big challenge, but if Robbo says he’s ready to play, he’s definitely ready.
“And it’s great he’s back.
“As well as being such an important player for us, he’s also one of the most courageous players I’ve ever seen and he definitely brings a lot to our team.
“I’m sure it’ll give everyone a lift when they see him galloping about on Friday night.”
Robinson’s return against the cherry and whites is not expected to be the only change to the side that thrashed Bradford Bulls 50-16 on Sunday as the Giants returned to the top of the Super League table.
Brown has given a clear hint that winger David Hodgson, who was rested against the Bulls, is set to the return, possibly at the expense of Jermaine McGillvary.
The in-form flier is one of five Giants who have this week been training with the England Knights, and a final decision on him, as well as Dale Ferguson, Michael Lawrence, Shaun Lunt and Larne Patrick, will be made when they return to their club tomorrow.
And it’s also possible experienced duo Lee Gilmour and Darrell Griffin could also play after sitting out the Bradford match.
“Both of them were carrying slight niggles, nothing more,” added Brown.
“They could have played if required, but because of the strength of our squad we knew we had the cover and didn’t need to risk playing them.
“As a result, it means they’re both available for selection for Friday.
“The squad’s looking very healthy at the moment, and that’s just what you’d want when you’re about to play the reigning champions.”
But it’s a different story for Wigan, who must reshuffle their side.
They will be without brothers Joel and Sam Tomkins after the England internationals were suspended by the RFL disciplinary committee.
Second row forward Joel received a two-match ban and a £300 fine following his sending-off in Sunday’s 14-12 win over Hull for striking centre Kirk Yeaman. Full-back Sam received a one-game ban and a £300 fine after being found guilty of running in and punching during a brawl that preceded his brother’s dismissal.
HAPPY DAYS Luke Robinson is now out of the gym and ready to step back onto the competitive field for the Giants against Wigan at the Galpharm Stadium on Friday night