Sentiment will count for absolutely nothing when Huddersfield Giants head coach Paul Anderson sends his side into Super League Magic Weekend action against St Helens at Newcastle’s St James’ Park tomorrow.

The former Great Britain prop had two highly-successful seasons at St Helens before joining Huddersfield’s coaching staff in 2007.

The fact Anderson has now spent so long at the John Smith’s Stadium means Saints aren’t quite as close to his heart as they used to be.

But with the Huddersfield coach set to go head-to-head against his former teammate and good friend Keiron Cunningham, he admits this weekend’s occasion means a little bit more.

“I always enjoy games against St Helens,” said Anderson. “I’ve got a lot of affinity and affection for the place, and I still have some very good friends at the club, including Keiron Cunningham.

“It’s always good to catch up with Kez. He’s a top bloke and a great coach. But as soon as I go up against his side, you can guarantee I’ll be doing everything I possibly can to make sure I beat him.

“Obviously, it’s the same for him when he comes up against me, because that’s our competitive nature coming through.

Keiron Cunningham

“And there’s no doubt we both want to win this weekend, because of the importance of two League points for both us.

“Kez wants to win to keep them in the frame for a top-four finish (they’re fourth ahead of this weekend’s round of fixtures), while we obviously want to win to try and start to climb the table (the Giants are, of course, second bottom).

READ MORE: Darnell McIntosh is a Huddersfield Giants Scholarship programme success story

READ MORE: Traffic warning to Huddersfield Giants fans heading north for Magic Weekend

“But even though I’d love to swap places with them in the table, I think Kez would admit they’re form this year has been far from consistent.

“So, all being well, we’ll get them on one of those days when they’re down on their form!

“Having said that, I know that even if they do put in a decent performance, we are still capable of beating them if we play to our potential.

“That’s something we’ve been unable to do this season. But there have been signs over the past month that things are starting to finally fall into place, and with a few more blokes available this weekend we hope that will make all the difference for us.

“We gave ourselves a great opportunity to win in Catalans last weekend and only had ourselves to blame for letting it slip away.

READ MORE: Huddersfield Giants fans have a great time despite the loss

“We’ve taken a fair bit of confidence from that performance and it’s key we build on that.”

Anderson has made two changes to the squad that was named to face Catalans Dragons in Perpignan, with Scott Grix making his return to the side and new signing Sebastine Ikahihifo also coming into the squad in place of Tyler Dickinson and Sam Wood.

Huddersfield Giants training at Leeds Road, Huddersfield - Sebastine Ikahihifo.