TOMORROW’S Carnegie Challenge Cup semi-final between Catalans and Wigan will be of special interest to Giants coach Jon Sharp.
The two teams lining up at Warrington (3.15) to battle it out for a Wembley appearance next month are next on Huddersfield’s Super League agenda.
Inconsistent French side Catalans come to the Galpharm a week tomorrow while Wigan is the destination for Sharp and his players on Friday, August 10.
Both matches will have a crucial bearing on the Giants’ bid for a first appearance in the Super League top-six play-offs.
Sharp and the rest of the rugby world will be waiting to see whether Wigan’s four-point deduction for breaking the salary cap last season, announced on Wednesday, will add extra impetus to their approach to the remainder of the season.
Wigan were given an early boost by the news that Stuart Fielden and Paul Prescott have been passed fit for the match.
Fielden, whose world-record transfer from Bradford midway through last season contributed greatly to Wigan going over the salary cap, was knocked out during the league defeat by St Helens.
Prescott limped off with an ankle injury but later said: “The first results from the hospital showed there was no fracture, which is a relief.
“But my ankle is still swollen and painful and I need plenty of ice treatment and rest to get the swelling down so the doctor can see exactly what the damage is.
“I remain optimistic I’ll be all right for the semi-final. I desperately want to play, and I know the medical boys will do their best for me.”
Catalans winger Thomas Bosc has been ruled out with a broken arm.
Bosc, an ever-present this season, is out for at least six weeks so Vincent Duport will deputise with Stacey Jones taking over goalkicking duties.
Salford, who visit Hull in a rearranged Super League match tomorrow, have signed New Zealand prop Phillip Leuluai on a two-and-a-half year deal.
The 30-year-old is expected to arrive in Manchester early next week and could make his debut against Hull KR a week today.
Leuluai started his career with Newtown Jets before making his NRL debut with Cronulla Sharks.
He was named the club’s rookie of the year in his debut season (2005) and has been a first-team regular ever since.