HUDDERSFIELD Giants will not have a representative in England’s World Cup squad.
But head coach Tony Smith has not at this stage ruled out completely Martin Aspinwall, David Hodgson or Darrell Griffin earning a late call-up.
Former Giants chief Smith yesterday announced his final 24-man squad for the tournament in Australia, which gets under way with England’s group game against Papua New Guinea on Saturday, October 25.
Many members of England’s original train-on squad have lost out on final selection, with Super League Grand Finalists Leeds Rhinos and St Helens taking up 15 of the England places.
A number of those not named will, however, play for England in Friday’s warm-up game against Wales in Doncaster.
Smith has hinted Huddersfield will have some representation in that match, and that there could still be a tremendous amount at stake for those who take to the field.
“Having to tell a player they won’t be going to Australia is incredibly hard to do,” said Smith. “Everyone in the train-on squad has worked tremendously hard, and that’s made the final choice even tougher.
“But those who have missed out on the final squad know there is the ability to replace injured players, and we have a few on standby for each position.
“That obviously makes Friday’s game important for everyone, including those that at this stage are not going to Australia.”
But there are several Giants ready to make the trip Down Under.
Paul Jackson is in the Scotland squad, new signing Simon Finnigan (from Bradford) is playing for Ireland and David Fauimu is in Samoa’s squad.