STUART JONES could re-ignite his Giants’ Super League career on the back of Jamahl Lolesi’s ban.
The former Wigan and St Helens star has spent much of this season in the Reserves, with the in-form Lolesi taking his spot in Huddersfield’s second-row.
But with the New Zealand Test ace suspended for Sunday’s Challenge Cup clash against Hull KR at New Craven Park (1.15), Jones has a golden opportunity to get his Giants career back on track.
“I’ve already spoken to Stuart and told him how important this weekend could be for him,” said head coach Jon Sharp.
“I know how disappointed he has been to have lost his Super League spot, but he has a great attitude and has never once let it affect the way he has trained or played in the Reserves.
“He knows this is his big chance to re-stake his first-team claim and I expect him to take it with both hands.
“He is a very solid performer, and is ideally suited to a game like the one we expect at Hull KR this weekend.”
Jones coming in for Lolesi could be the only change to the side controversially beaten 36-34 by Warrington at the Millennium Stadium last Saturday.
And it was confirmed last night that Lolesi had lost his ever-present record this season after he failed to overturn a two-match ban.
The former New Zealand Test ace was handed the suspension, along with a £300 fine, for using foul and abusive language during the Giants’ 36-34 defeat by Warrington in the opening match of the Millennium Magic event in Cardiff.
Although Lolesi admitted the offence, the Giants contested the severity of the punishment but their appeal was rejected.
Lolesi, who joined Huddersfield from Wests Tigers 18 months ago, has appeared in all of their 14 matches so far this season but will now definitely sit out Sunday’s fifth-round tie at Hull KR and the following week’s home Super League game against the same opponents.