IT was the draw to put the broadest of smiles on his face.
Less than 18 months after leaving the Giants, Paul Smith was able to prepare for a Challenge Cup clash against his former club in the colours of Halifax.
And with the fourth-round tie taking place at the Shay this Sunday (3.00), Smith was handed what he admits was a ‘dream draw’.
The 30-year-old knows it’s going to be a tall order for National League I Halifax to get the better of coach Jon Sharp’s Super League side..
But the second-row forward, who was in the Huddersfield side that was beaten by St Helens in the 2006 Challenge Cup final at Twickenham, is confident Halifax will give a good account of themselves.
“Having played at Huddersfield and loved my time there, I can’t wait for this Sunday,” said Smith.
“But I know it’s a game everyone at Halifax is really looking forward to.
“We know it’s going to be tough to beat the Giants, but we won’t be lacking in confidence.
“Apart from a couple of blips against Celtic Crusaders, we’ve been playing well and, after a strong second-half display to beat Featherstone at the weekend, we feel we’re getting back to our best.
“On top of that, we put up a good display against (Australian NRL champions) Melbourne Storm in their World Club Challenge warm-up game the other month, which shows we can handle playing against a top side.
“We lost 26-10, but were right in there until the final stages.
“It definitely helped that we were able to play 10 subs that night, and it would be nice if Sharpy would let us do the same this weekend, although somehow I can’t see it!
“But even though I’m sure we’ll do well on Sunday that doesn’t mean I’m prepared to say we’re going to win.
“As far as I’m concerned the big priority is our performance, and if we get that right, I’m sure everyone will be happy.
“Games like this are ones to savour.”
Smith left the Giants at the start of last season to take up a job back in the world of computers before taking up a maths and PE teaching post in Salford.
And he is loving it.
“Combining the teaching and being a part-time player is hard work, but I’m really glad I did it,” he added.