GIANTS prop Mick Slicker is closing in on a first Super League X appearance of the season.

The Ireland international has been named in coach Jon Sharp's initial 20-man squad for Friday's trip to St Helens (8.00) after missing out in the opening two rounds.

Also named is winger Marcus St Hilaire, who missed Sunday's 36-28 home defeat to Hull with a calf injury.

St Hilaire could come straight back into the frame after producing a solid display in the 30-12 opening-day win at Leigh.

And Sharp has admitted both men are firmly in contention.

"They have got the next few days to prove to me they should be included," said Sharp, who has brought Slicker into the 20 at the expense of Iain Morrison.

"Marcus picked up a slight calf injury during training on Saturday and it was decided not to risk him against Hull.

"But he should be fine for Saints - if selected, of course.

"And on the same Saturday, Mick was producing a very accomplished display for the Senior Academy side in the win at Castleford.

"He played the full game, which for a prop is no mean feat.

"It was a performance which definitely deserved further recognition and that's why he's in the 20 for Friday night."

Initial 20-man squad: Reilly, O'Hare, Evans, Donlan, Thorman, March, Slicker, Drew, Gannon, Nero, Roarty, Gene, Jones, Penkywicz, Smith, Crabtree, Grayshon, White, Jackson, St Hilaire.