The Huddersfield-born Super League Dream Team star is expected to play a leading role in helping his hometown club secure another successful top-four challenge.
Having finished last season as the competition’s top tryscorer with 27, McGillvary is ready to take up the challenge of being a marked man.
But he’s warned his top-flight rivals that if they focus on trying to keep him quiet, one of his teammates will take full advantage and make them pay – which is something he’d be happy to see in tonight’s tough opener at Langtree Park.
“I’ve enjoyed getting all the individual accolades over the past few months,” said McGillvary, who was named in the World XIII last November after making his England debut in their series clinching Test triumph over New Zealand.
“But so much of these have been achieved on the back of what everyone else has done at the Giants.
“Everybody goes on about what I do for the team, or how important Danny Brough is for us, or how much we’re going to miss Brett Ferres now he’s gone.
“They’re obviously all entitled to their opinions, but that’s just far too simplistic.
“The success of the Giants over the years has been the way we’ve played as a team rather than what we’ve done as individuals.
“I believe a group of hard-working people will beat a team full of superstars, because hard work will always beat talent if talent doesn’t work hard.
“The Giants have always been a group of hard-workers. Yes. we do have a fair amount of talent in the group, but it’s the way we work together that has been our success in the past, and it’ll be the key to our success in the future.
“We pride ourselves on working hard and being a tight-knit team.
“If we play like that at Saints tonight we know we’ll give ourselves a very good chance.”
And the 27-year-old also knows it’s the hard work of centre partner Leroy Cudjoe, who will tonight make his 200th Giants appearance, that has made such a big difference to McGillvary.
“I don’t know how many of my tries are down to Leroy. I just know it’s a lot,” added McGillvary, who needs three tries to make it 100 for the Giants.
“I genuinely believe that if I didn’t have him inside me I wouldn’t have enjoyed half the success I’ve had.
“That’s just another example of how we work – and are successful – as a team. Without my teammates I know I wouldn’t be able to be as effective.”
McGillvary has certainly be effective against St Helens in the past, and he’ll be hoping for a repeat of the events at Langtree Park three years ago when he scored the first try in his side’s 40-4 opening-night win at St Helens that paved the way to the Super League Leaders Shield.
But even though the Giants have had a strong pre-season (with impressive wins over Hull KR and Catalans Dragons) and Saints looked way off the pace in their trial defeat at Widnes, the 27-year-old is taking nothing for granted.
“Saints are a top side, so it’s going to be tough,” he continued.
“Because it’s round one, it’s difficult to know exactly what to expect. No-one’s had time to find any form and consistency, so anything could happen.
“But our performances in the two trial games have given us a lot of confidence, and shown that our squad may not be as light as many have suggested.
“We know we’ve lost about half-a-dozen senior players from last season’s squad, but when you look at the way the likes of Oli Roberts, John Johnson and Nathan Mason performed in the trials, things could be a lot worse.”