GIANTS coach Jon Sharp will send his side into Super League battle against Hull at the Galpharm tomorrow (3.00) with words of encouragement from Great Britain boss Brian Noble ringing in his ears.
Sharp was yesterday confirmed as Noble's No2 in the Great Britain set-up for this autumn's Tri-Nations series against Australia and New Zealand.
The Giants chief has been handed a Lions contract until December 31 next year and will share the assistant coach's duties with former Castleford boss Graham Steadman.
Confirmation that Sharp has been handed the key role is a massive boost for the Giants coach, who has seen his side's bid for a play-off spot destroyed by a crippling injury list.
Sharp has also come under fire from certain sections of the fans for the way the side's form has dipped after such a magnificent start to this season's top-flight campaign.
But Noble has jumped to the defence of his new Great Britain No2 and has 100% confidence in Sharp's abilities.
"Sharpy is a great coach and has a fantastic work ethic," said Noble.
"That was clear with the way his Giants side started this Super League season.
"It was clear to everyone within the game that here was a side that was extremely well-coached and well-organised, and the man responsible for that was Jon Sharp. It was certainly no fluke.
"Unfortunately, his Huddersfield side has been clobbered by adversity in recent months.
"It's pretty obvious the dip has nothing to do with his coaching ability.
"In rugby league, there are often times when situations completely beyond your control can hamper what you're striving to achieve.
"What's happening with Sharpy at the Giants right now is a classic example."
Sharp was officially unveiled as the new Great Britain assistant coach at the City of Manchester Stadium, which will host the Great Briatin v Australia clash on Saturday, October 30.
A week later (November 6), Great Britain will host the Kiwis at the Galpharm.
Noble and his coaching team have already chosen a 40-strong squad but will keep it under wraps until trimming it down to 24 the day after the Grand Final on October 17.
Noble, who has yet to name his captain, has hinted at changes, saying his squad will be "exciting and youthful", but that players will have until the last day of the domestic season to press their claims.
"The players will be selected on form," added Noble.
"Past reputations will have very little bearing on selection."
Meanwhile, Gillette are extending their involvement to support the Great Britain team, who will wear the sponsors' logo on their shirts.
The tournament actually gets under way in Auckland on October 16 with a clash between the Kiwis and the Kangaroos, who will meet again at Loftus Road seven days later in the opening game in England.