Huddersfield Giants head coach Rick Stone is confident his squad has more depth for the 2018 campaign.
The Giants began their warm-up for the new Super League season – which begins with an away trip to Hull FC on Thursday, February 1 – with a 32-22 win at home to Championship outfit Dewsbury Rams.
They will follow that up on Saturday in a second pre-season match at Wakefield Trinity (6pm), with Stone happy with options he has at his disposal.
“I feel we look better off in terms of our playing squad going into this season in comparison to last year,” said Stone.
“I think that player-wise we run a bit deeper in the squad this time around.
“We are in a pretty good place and, while we are still carrying a couple of injury issues, we have done a lot of good work in pre-season.”
The victory in club captain Leroy Cudjoe’s testimonial game saw the Giants field 25 players and Stone said getting match time for as many players as possible had been the priority.
“The main job in the first game was for the boys to get a run, particularly the forwards,” he explained.
“I am trying to drip feed the pack into match action and get them going gradually, which is why we picked two packs for the Dewsbury game.
“So we tried to get the forwards involved 40 or 50 minutes on the field.”
Another bonus for Stone was the fact that he fielded a number of the club’s Academy players, who showed they will be ready and able to provide cover.
“Against Dewsbury we played a lot of our young blokes, which really helped us out,” added Stone.
“And it was a bit of a reward for them as a lot of them were back in training a long time before Christmas.
“Because we had six of the squad away at the World Cup, the academy boys have worked hard and deserved their reward of playing in the match.”
Hull KR have confirmed that Danny Addy has been ruled out long term with a serious knee injury.
The former Bradford Bulls forward, who moved to Craven Park for the 2017 season, suffered the injury in the first half of Sunday’s pre-season friendly against neighbours Hull FC.
Leigh have expressed their concern after their away game against Toulouse was moved 75km to Albi – the Championship game will now take place at 3.30pm CET on Saturday June 16 at the Stadium Municipal d’Albi.
A Centurions spokesman said: “We were concerned about the travel arrangements for our supporters, particularly those who have already booked flights and accommodation in Toulouse.”