Huddersfield Giants head coach Rick Stone has made two changes to his 19-man squad to face Leigh Centurions of Friday night at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Sebastine Ikahihifo has returned from injury with Sam Wood and the pair replace Gene Ormsby and Martyn Ridyard in the squad, with the 30-year-old half back being ineligible to face his parent club.

The Giants need one point to ensure their Super League status , but could be safe before the clash with Leigh if Wigan Warriors beat Warrington Wolves at the DW Stadium.

However, Stone is not factoring anything other than his own side’s result into the equation as he prepares for the game.

“I think for us we have to concentrate on what we need to do,” said Stone.

“We want to be in the top eight and keep moving in the right direction – we can’t just be comfortable.

“There’s a little bit of water to go under the bridge yet in the competition, but the first port of call is to get top eight and then reassess where we’re at after that.”

However, Stone is not ruling out his side being able to make an impact in the Super 8s – should they get there.

“There is still a bit of change by the time the normal competition is finished,” said Stone.

“Then there are seven games in the next stage and there are 14 more points on in the next stage.”

However, Stone is wary as the Giants recent record against Leigh has been nothing to get excited about.

The Centurions beat the Giants 30-0 at Leigh Sports Village in Super League this season and won 48-10 in the Middle 8s last year.

“We don’t want to look too far ahead for us. We haven’t had a couple of good games against Leigh over the last 12 months,” admitted Stone.

“They’re coming back to our place and have their hooker (Mick Higham) is playing his 500th game this week, so I’m sure they’ll be ready to play.

Leigh’s fate to play in the Middle 8s is already sealed, but Stone did not feel that had any bearing on the contest.

“I don’t think it changes too much for us,” he said.

“We assess teams every week as we do every week. They might be a little bit more dangerous as they’ve not too much to lose and their attitude offensively might be slightly different.

“There is always plenty to play for every week and for us every week we play there seems to be a little bit more to play for – this game’s no different.

“However, each week is a little bit different of course but at least our form in last couple of months has been pretty consistent.

“If we can show some of that through the 80 minutes I’m sure will be okay.”

With Ridyard unavailable Stone was looking at a reshuffle in the halves and backs.

“It will probably be Lee Gaskell in the halves, but we’ll see later.

Huddersfield Giants' Lee Gaskell is tackled Betfred Super League Huddersfield v Warrington 04/06/17 (Pic by Dave Howarth)

“He played centre last week. Ridyard also had a little shoulder knock, so he’s not great but was not in the schedule to play this game anyway so it doesn’t hurt is too much. “We’ll see what we do in the left centre and have a decision to make there but pretty much rest of the team I’d suggest will be pretty stable.

There is no return for centre Jordan Turner after a hamstring problem, but the recent signing from Canberra Raiders could feature in the final round of the regular season away at Hull FC on Friday, July 21.

“There was a possibility of him coming back this week but after looking at some scans late last week he’s still got a bit of healing to do,” explained Stone.

“He may have a chance for next week, but it all depends what happens between now and then.

“We also have a week off after the Hull game, so we may even think of the first game in next stage of competition.”


Giants: Jermaine McGillvary, Leroy Cudjoe, Lee Gaskell, Danny Brough, Sam Rapira, Ryan Hinchcliffe, Shannon Wakeman, Dale Ferguson, Kruise Leeming, Sebastine Ikahihifo, Oliver Roberts, Ukuma Ta’ai, Paul Clough, Tyler Dickinson, Sam Wood, Darnell McIntosh, Alex Mellor, Adam O’Brien, Jordan Rankin