HUDDERSFIELD Giants have received a massive Super League boost with the news that vice-captain Darren Turner will play in Sunday's big season's opener against Castleford at the McAlpine (3.00).
RFL disciplinary chiefs last night cleared the influential Huddersfield-born hooker of illegal use of the knees during the pre-season defeat at Leeds.
Giants head coach Jon Sharp had already made provision in case Turner picked up a ban.
But now Sharp will be able to put his original plans into action, with Turner ready to play a key role as the Giants seek a winning start to their Super League IX campaign.
"Last night was an absolutely brilliant result. I was blown away with the way it went," admitted Sharp, who accompanied Turner to the hearing.
"It was clear to me that there was a degree of provocation in the incident which was under examination.
"And, fortunately, that view was shared by the disciplinary committee, who did spend a lot of time looking at the incident in minute detail.
"At the back of your mind, you do always fear the worst with these things, and I've had to consider my options in case Rocky wasn't a part of my weekend plans.
"I was confident that I had the options and the players to cover for his potential loss.
"But it's obviously fantastic that I can stick to my original thoughts and can use Rocky in the role I had always hoped.
"I know the news he'll be playing will give us all a boost.
"It's been a tough couple of weeks, with Jim Gannon and Paul White ruled out for a couple of months through injury and assistant coach Billy McGinty having departed.
"There's still the question mark over Brandon Costin's ankle injury, but last night's news makes our prospects this weekend even brighter."
Sharp will not announce his side until after the Academy trial clash at Bradford tomorrow.
Several members of his squad will be given the chance to stake a claim for Sunday.
But one Academy player who will not be featuring is forward Jon Simpson, who has signed a one-year deal at Halifax.