Co-captain Oliver Russell believes the Huddersfield Giants Under 19s can underline their top-four potential against Newcastle Thunder tonight.
The Academy take on the team from the North East at Lockwood Park (7pm) - home of Huddersfield Rugby Union Club.
Russell and his teammates are bidding to chalk a first win of the season after drawing 13-13 with Wigan in their opening fixture.
“Newcastle have been improving every single year for a while now,” said Russell, who started out playing with hometown Oldham St Annes before joining Wigan Scholarship and playing in the Grand Final with them.
“Last time out they beat Wakefield so they’re a good side.
“If we want to be a top-four team then we’ve got to be winning these games and we’ll be taking it as seriously as we did the Wigan match.
“Newcastle are a big, athletic team and they’ll cause some problems. They’re aggressive, they fly off the line and they can throw some good shapes when they’ve got the ball, which is part of the reason they beat Wakefield.”
Russell says he is thriving in the Giants system.
I’ve loved my time with the Giants and am really enjoying my rugby again, I’ve got my love for the game back,” he revealed.
“Luke Robinson is the best coach I’ve ever been taught by, maybe because he played the same position as me, so I’ve learned a lot from him and he does a great job.”
Admission tonight is £3 for adult season-ticket holders, £3.50 adults, £2 concession season-ticket holders, £2.50 concessions and free for Under 16s.