Josh Johnson believes a strong performance in Sunday’s home clash against Widnes can help him stake a more regular Giants Super League claim.

With injuries hitting Huddersfield hard, the 21-year-old prop has featured in his side’s opening two 2016 top-flight fixtures.

But even though both results went against the Giants – they lost 30-16 at St Helens on day one and suffered a heartbreaking 18-13 home defeat to Wigan Warriors a week later – Johnson is confident his club can break their duck against the Vikings this weekend, as well as enhance his own personal position in the side in the process.

“It’s been a really tough start for us because of the injuries,” said the Oldham-based forward, who’s got his early-season starts due to the injuries to fellow props Eorl Crabtree (groin) and Craig Huby (hand).

“But that has given me the opportunity to play in the first two games, and it’s up to me to start building on it now.

“Over the past couple of seasons I’ve had the odd Super League game here and there, but I know the best way for me to improve is to be playing at this level on a more regular basis. I’ve got that chance right now.

“I’ve wanted an opportunity to stake a regular claim for some time and show Baloo (head coach Paul Anderson) exactly what I can do.

“I felt I’ve gone okay in the first two matches, but I know I’ve got to be even better against Widnes this weekend.

“I’ve had a good pre-season and put on about three or four kg of ‘good weight’ as opposed to ‘bad weight’.

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“By that I mean weight that’s going to help improve my game, rather than just putting on weight for the sake of it. Under our new conditioner, John Noonan, I’ve been doing a lot more power-based stuff and I do feel it’s helped to improve my game.

Giants back for pre-season training. Head of strength and conditioning John Noonan puts the players through some vigorous training.

“I know it’s been tough for the boys who’ve missed the start of the season, but I also know this is a fantastic chance for me to finally kick-start my career.”

But Johnson is also hoping to play well to help Huddersfield get off the Super League XXI mark at the third time of asking.

“Obviously, the fact we’ve not won in rounds one and two has been the big negative,” added Johnson.

“And the ideal scenario this weekend would be for the Giants to get that first win, and for me to contribute positively in the process.

READ MORE: Huddersfield Giants could be same again for Super League clash against Widnes Vikings

“It’s something I fully expect to see happen.

“We’ve taken a lot of confidence from the way we played against Wigan the other week. We fielded a very young and injury-hit side but came away from the game believing it was one we should have won, so we know we’re not that far away at all.

“We know we’re a side that’s prepared to work 110% for each other – and that’ll take you a very long way.

“The thing that let us down against Wigan was our lack of smartness. If we’re smarter this weekend, then we’ll get off the mark, it’s as simple as that.”

TONIGHT (8.00)


Hull KR v St Helens (Sky TV), Warrington Wolves v Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.


Sheffield Eagles v Swinton Lions (7.45).



Catalans Dragons v Leeds Rhinos (Sky TV).


Round III: Featherstone Lions v South Wales Scorpions (3.00), Kells v Hemel Stags (1.30), Wath Brow Hornets v Toulouse Olympique (3.00).

SUNDAY (3.00)


Huddersfield Giants v Widnes Vikings.


Bradford Bulls v Leigh Centurions, Dewsbury Rams v Whitehaven, Featherstone Rovers v Oldham, Halifax v Batley Bulldogs, Workington Town v London Broncos.


Round III: Hunslet Hawks v Barrow Raiders, Keighley Cougars v Coventry Bears, North Wales Crusaders v Gloucestershire All Golds (1.30), Oxford v Lock Lane (1.30), Pilkington Recs v London Skolars (1.30), Rochdale Mayfield v Rochdale Hornets (1.30), Siddal v Newcastle Thunder (1.30), West Hull v Doncaster (1.30), York City Knights v York Acorn.