EXCITED Giants hooker Darren Turner believes his hometown club is on the verge of something big.

Turner is confident of figuring in Sunday's Powergen Challenge Cup semi-final against St Helens after missing Friday's game at Leeds with a sore knee and back.

If he plays it will be the second time the 29-year-old will have appeared in a Challenge Cup semi-final.

The first was in 1998 when Sheffield Eagles stunned the rugby league world by defeating Salford in the semi and then knocking off Wigan in the Wembley final.

Turner was a tryscorer in that famous 17-8 final triumph, and the inspirational former Underbank junior sees no reason why he can't repeat the experience with the Giants in 2004.

"Every time I think about this Sunday I get a smile on my face and a twinkle in my eye," he revealed.

"In so many ways, this Giants' Cup run reminds me of Sheffield's when we went all the way to beat Wigan at Wembley six years ago. It's uncanny.

"Just like the Giants, the Eagles were given no chance of winning when the competition started.

"But we've both had a relatively easy Cup runs to get here.

"In the case of Sheffield, we came from virtually nowhere to triumph in the final, and I can see it being the same with the Giants.

"Most of the attention has been focusing on the other sides in the competition, enabling us to keep our heads down and get on with the business of preparing to win rugby league matches.

"We're more than happy playing the role of the silent assassin right now. Let's just wait to hear what everyone is saying about us at the end of the season.

"But I'm sure that if we beat St Helens on Sunday, which I know we can, the attitude towards the Giants will start to change.

"We know that to beat a great team like St Helens, we'll have to produce the game of our lives.

"So, if we make it, I'm sure the praise will be heaped on us.

"To beat a champion team like Saints simply can't be ignored."

And Turner, who played for Huddersfield Schools against Leigh in the traditional Wembley Challenge Cup final curtain-raiser in 1985, is confident reaching this year's showpiece event at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium will change the whole status of the club.

"Huddersfield Giants can be a very big club," he predicted.

"You can sense the mood around the town is changing, and the interest in the Giants is growing.

"As a club, we believe we are a top four or five side in Super League, and going all the way in the Challenge Cup would prove that to everyone."

But to get all the way, Turner will have to get the better of Saints' Great Britain hooker Keiron Cunningham, and he knows that won't be easy.

"You always want to test yourself against the best, and Keiron is the best," added Turner.

"There are those who say Danny Buderus at Newcastle Knights is the world's best, but I think it's the guy I'll be facing on Sunday. I'll relish that."