JACOB FAIRBANK knows making his Giants Super League debut tomorrow would crown the most memorable month in his rugby league career.
The 20-year-old loose-forward has been placed on stand-by to face Hull KR in the ‘Return of the Giants’ clash at the Galpharm Stadium (7.15).
The fixture is the first to be staged in Huddersfield in two months following the re-laying of the Galpharm pitch.
That in itself has added extra spice to this weekend’s top-flight fixture, with the Giants having marketed the match aggressively in a bid to attract a bumper crowd.
And it’s a fact not lost on rising star Fairbank, who is desperate to be involved in another big game after playing with on-loan club Halifax against Leigh Centurions in the Northern Rail Cup final at Blackpool 12 days ago.
“July could prove to be a massive month for me,” said Fairbank, known to his teammates as Bob.
“Although we lost the Northern Rail Cup final, playing in a game as big as that is the highlight of my career to far.
“Before then the best moment had been making my first-team debut for the Giants in our Challenge Cup win at Batley a couple of months ago.
“But I know if I get the chance to play in a Super League game for Huddersfield tomorrow it would top the lot.
“In fact, if I did, it would make it a month I’ll never forget.
“Just thinking about the prospect of making my Super League debut makes me nervous.
“I suppose that’s because I didn’t really expect to be playing Super League this year, it all seems to have come along really quickly.
“Having said that, I’m not exactly complaining about it!
“It’s always been my dream to play in Super League and that could soon come true.”
And Fairbank feels that if he does get the nod he’ll be ready.
“Playing on loan in the Championship with Halifax this year has done me a power of good,” he added.
“It’s a better standard than playing in the Under 20s and I feel my game’s come on a lot as a result. I know Super League is another step up, but if Browny gives me the nod it’ll be because he thinks I’m ready.
“That would give me a lot of confidence going into the game. I can’t wait to try.”
Opponents Hull KR could also be about to hand a Super League debut to one of their most promising youngsters, with 19-year-old second-rower Jordan Cox named in their 19-man squad.
And giving Cox his chance is just one of a number of changes coach Justin Morgan may have to make in the wake of Sunday’s 54-6 Challenge Cup thrashing at St Helens, with full-back Shaun Briscoe (wrist) and winger Liam Colbon (hamstring) set to miss out.
“I would say they are on the negative side of 50-50 in terms of being available at this time, so that will be two changes we have to make,” said Morgan.
“I am certainly considering one or two other players to be given an opportunity. There may also be some movement in the structure of our starting team.
“Louis Sheriff could be a straight swap for Shaun Briscoe if we decide to go that way, and we have Sam Latus who could play on the wing.
“Unfortunately, Craig Hall has picked up a calf strain so he hasn’t trained and, therefore, we are a little bit snookered in the outside backs.”