A QUARTET of players have a big incentive to impress when Huddersfield Giants' Senior Academy side take on St Helens at Fartown tonight (7.30).
Backs Ben Cooper and Graham Holroyd and forwards Eorl Crabtree and Jon Grayshon go into action for the second team knowing a run of three Super League matches in 10 days could provide the opportunity for a return to the big stage.
Tony Smith's buoyant team go to St Helens tomorrow and London Broncos on Tuesday before hosting Hull on Sunday week.
The tough three-game schedule could make or break a play-off challenge fired by successive victories over Wigan and leaders Leeds.
Versatile Holroyd, who takes the stand-off berth tonight, would have played against Leeds last Saturday but for twisting an ankle in training the previous day.
His absence allowed Matthew Whittaker to come in, and the 20-year-old took his chance from the bench to catch Smith's eye.
"Matthew had been going well in the Senior Academy and he did everything right against Leeds. All things being equal, Graham Holroyd will travel to St Helens tomorrow, but there are no guarantees," said Smith.
Cooper, who plays in the centres tonight, hasn't figured in the first team for four matches, while props Crabtree and Grayshon have both been missing for six games.
"Our recent run of form and the absence of injuries has made it pretty difficult to change the team too radically," added Smith.
"But with these three matches coming up in such quick succession, there could be places up for grabs and tonight's match should make pretty interesting watching."
Like the firsts, Huddersfield are seeking a Senior Academy double over Saints having won 44-20 in round five of the competition in March.
The Giants are currently fifth in the 14-team table, a place and two points above St Helens.
The Giants Junior Academy side visit Keighley on Saturday (2.30).
Senior Academy: Bullas; Sheriffe, Feehan, Cooper, Balyski; Holroyd, White; Crabtree, Williams, Grayshon, Mills, Elswood, Ramden. Subs: McDowell, Holdsworth, Joseph, Samuel.
* St Helens, Hull and Halifax all had their appeals against the deduction of two points for salary-cap breaches thrown out yesterday.