Huddersfield Giants’ international wing star Jermaine ‘Jerry’ McGillvary is expecting the Super League 2018 season to be business as usual.
The 29-year-old scored seven tries in five matches in England’s run to the Rugby League World Cup final, but he does not expect any extra attention when the new competition gets under way tomorrow night – with the Giants on the road at Hull FC.
McGillvary has been a doubt for the KCom Stadium clash, having been dogged by a knee injury ever since his return from the competition down under, but he has made head coach Rick Stone’s 19-man squad for the game.
While his profile was significantly raised by his exploits in the World Cup, Huddersfield’s hometown product is not expecting to be targeted by his Super League opponents any more than usual.
“I don’t feel there will be any added pressure going into Super League,” said McGillvary.
“You can’t think for the opposition, but I certainly won’t put extra pressure on myself and I don’t think there will be any from my teammates.
“I just have to go out there and try my best, and I have to hope that is good enough.
“You always want to improve and I have been playing long enough to deal with whatever pressure there is in the game in positive ways.
“I really don’t see things having changed from last year to this year.”
And it will also be business as usual for McGillvary, who felt that all he did in Australia was bring his natural game to the England party.
“The World Cup was just an amazing experience and I loved every minute of it,” said McGillvary.
“I didn’t surprise myself as there was nothing that I did in Australia that I wouldn’t do week-in and week-out with the Giants.
“Obviously you are up against top-class players in the competition, but I didn’t do anything special.”
However, McGillvary is hoping that the Giants as a squad can do something special in this year’s Super League – and he feels the club are heading in that direction.
“We have put together a good squad again and I am hoping for a successful season for the Giants,” he explained.
“We need to be better this time round, though I felt that last year we had improved on the 2016 season
“We are looking forward to 2018 to try and make a serious push this time.
“Last year we made the top eight and had a shot at the top four, but in the end it was really a ‘so close but yet so far’ situation.
“Last season we had injuries, but then we got some of the guys back and it showed – and we performed how we can.
“Jake Mamo was a good example as he scored a dozen tries or so in eight games, only to get injured again, but it shows what can happen.
“The middle spell of the season was outstanding, but you can’t just produce it in patches and to fight for trophies at the end you have to be consistent.
“We are going to lose players at times this season, that’s just the nature of the sport, and that is why we need a strong squad.
“We have shown what we can do with that spell last season, but the Giants need to push that little bit further and when the season does split we have to be up there fighting.”