Chris Thorman has included Jake Wardle and Ollie Russell in his Huddersfield Giants squad to face Widnes Vikings at the John Smith’s Stadium on Friday.
But who are the Academy products?
The 19-year-old centre Wardle (his Christian name is Jacob), from Halifax and brother of Castleford’s Joe, has the No29 shirt in the senior squad and is sponsored by Drakes League Scholes Cricket Club’s ex-players.
Russell, 19, is co-captain of the Giants’ Under 19s and started out playing with hometown Oldham St Annes, before joining Wigan Scholarship and playing in a Grand Final with them.
Thorman explained: “Jake has had a bit of an injury history himself but has trained really well over the course of the pre-season.
“He played in a trial game against Wakefield and was playing really well but ended up fracturing his ankle, which has set him back a bit.
“He’s played in the past few academy games and has been one of their best players and has scored a couple of tries in each of those games. He’s been really impressive.”
The interim head coach continued: “Ollie Russell took a slightly different route.
“We signed him from Wigan when he wasn’t getting a chance in their academy and I’ve been really impressed with him orchestrating our academy team, he’s our general and I’m confident in his ability.
“If he’s called upon we’re all confident he’ll do a good job.”
Rounding up the injuries, Thorman said: “McGillvary, Cudjoe, Ferguson are all three weeks or so off.
“Jermaine will probably be first back, whether that’s in two or three weeks we’ll decide and will keep assessing a week at a time. Fergie and Leroy are very similar and are still at least a month away.”
Matty English returns to the squad with Russell and Wardle, while Aaron Murphy, Oliver Roberts and Jared Simpson drop out.
The 19 man squad: Jake Mamo, Jordan Turner, Lee Gaskell, Sebastine Ikahihifo, Kruise Leeming, Michael Lawrence, Ryan Hinchcliffe, Jordan Rankin, Ukuma Ta’ai, Paul Clough, Daniel Smith, Adam O’Brien, Alex Mellor, Darnell McIntosh, Tyler Dickinson, Sam Wood, Matty English, Jake Wardle, Oliver Russell.
Referee: Liam Moore (RFL).