HUDDERSFIELD Giants chief Paul Anderson is confident two pre-season games is more than enough for his Super League XVIII squad.
Huddersfield head to former Giants coach Nathan Brown’s St Helens for an opening trial clash at Langtree Park on Friday, January 11 before hosting Widnes Vikings at the John Smith’s Stadium nine days later.
Anderson (left) has now confirmed those will be his club’s only pre-season fixtures, with the regular trips to Batley and Halifax falling by the wayside as a result of the Giants no longer fielding an Under 20s side because of the Rugby Football League’s restructuring of the junior competitions.
But with the quality and intensity of the training work the Giants are undertaking, Anderson is comfortable two warm-up games ahead of the Super League XVIII at Saints on Saturday, February 2 is more than enough.
And with the Giants hoping a number of their players will be involved in next autumn’s RL World Cup, Anderson is also keen to avoid any player burn-out ahead of the important global event.
“We feel two games is just right,” he said.
“With the season getting under way right at the start of February, a short turn-around at Easter and then hopefully a good run in the Challenge Cup and the play-offs it could be a very long season anyway. We’re also hoping we’ll have a number of rep players involved in the World Cup, which means it could be late November before some of them have a break.
“That would obviously make the season even longer, so making them play three or four warm-up games as well wouldn’t be right.
“Furthermore, with the way everyone has been working in pre-season, I’m confident everyone will be ready after our two pre-season fixtures.”
And Anderson has already made it clear he intends to use the Saints’ warm-up game as an opportunity to field as many players as possible.
“Everyone who’s fully fit and available will play in that one,” added Anderson.