Huddersfield Giants forward Oliver Roberts will miss the club’s final home game of the season.
The 22-year-old Ireland international second rower is out of Friday night’s final Super 8s game with Leeds Rhinos at the John Smith’s Stadium after sustaining a hamstring injury in the 40-16 defeat at St Helens in the penultimate round of matches.
However, the Giants have an instant replacement with Scotland international Dale Ferguson, who has struggled with a persistent shoulder injury this term, but who is now ready to return.
“Oliver has picked up a hamstring problem and we will be leaving him out,” said head coach Rick Stone.
“But we have an instant swap as Dale will be back in to play against Leeds.
“However, there are no major problems and we should be fairly close to where we were last week.
“It will just be a case that we may have to juggle with a few positions.”
Definitely set to play is former New Zealand international prop Sam Rapira.
The 30-year-old ex-New Zealand Warriors forward makes his final appearance after two terms with the Giants before he heads to France to play with Toulouse next season.
And that has given Stone a squad eager to win their places, particularly prop Sebastine Ikahihifo, who collected four major awards at the club’s annual presentation night on Monday.
“Obviously it is Sam’s last game for the club and there are plenty of the boys who are keen to play alongside him in the game,” said Stone.
“Seb is aiming to get back after last week, he is a really good mate of Sam’s and is really keen to play.
“After having a scoop together at the awards night, Seb is raring to go for the game.”
Also eager to play is former Leeds forward Daniel Smith.
The 24-year-old was hampered by a knee injury early in the season and, having returned to match action, has now picked up a finger injury on his left hand.
However, that has not stopped him targeting a place in the 17 to play against the Rhinos.
“I have snapped a tendon in one of my fingers,” explained Smith.
“But it is not something that will stop me playing and I am just hoping that I have done enough to make the squad to face my old club.”