1 Apr 2021

Coaches Comments; Watson hails Lawrence achievement

Ian Watson has lauded the impact of Giants club captain, Michael Lawrence ahead of his 300th career appearance on Saturday's clash with Catalans Dragons, live on Sky Sports.

“He’s got a big influence within the group, more by his actions. That was why I was really keen to make Michael club captain" said Watson on the Giants Club Captain, who's played at the club since 2007. 

“I felt we needed a figurehead of the club. Obviously Aiden’s the captain but when you come to a club like Huddersfield, it needs to have somebody at the top who represents Huddersfield.

“Michael Lawrence, Leroy Cudjoe, Jermaine McGillvary, those guys are Huddersfield, they’ve been here for a long period of time.

“So we want them to be what Huddersfield’s about really, to live up to the standards that we expect to have involved with Huddersfield, which generally mimics your owners’ beliefs and values.

“I feel Michael does that massively and you can see the impact he has on the squad around him just by his actions.”

Watson also cast doubt on the fitness of Aidan Sezer, with the NRL Grand Finalist missing from the Giants' first squad due to injury. 

“We’re not sure at the moment to be honest,” he said. “We need to see how he reacts from training. He got through the majority of it but pulled out of the last 10-15 minutes, so we’re just going to see where he is tomorrow before we make a final decision.

“Obviously you don’t want your best players sat on the sideline for too long. The physios were telling us he’d be good this week but then he came back on Wednesday and, like I said, got through the majority of the session fine.

“He just felt it a little bit towards the end, so we decided to take him off from there. The physio’s still reporting that he’s in a pretty good spot. We’ll know one way or another tomorrow (Friday) morning.

“What we don’t want to do is (cause) any lasting damage. But we do want our best team and our best players out there as well. It is what it is at the moment, we just need to wait until tomorrow but prepare the team as best we can do with or without Aidan.”

Some good news from the Giants camp is encouraging progress on Ricky Leutele, who suffered a bone break in his hand in the loss to Hull FC in week one. The physio department have confirmed he won't be out for as long as feared, and will be missing for two to four weeks, rather than the much longer layoff feared. 

“Luckily it’s not a bad one but he’ll probably be two to four weeks. He’s got a cast on his hand but it’s not as bad as it could have been, so it’s pretty good news on Ricky.

“I think it was early in the second half he did it but he didn’t really want to come off. But we made the decision at the back end to bring him off anyway because we didn’t want to end up doing more damage.

“To be fair it seems to have worked because it means he’s not going to be out for six to eight weeks, he’s only going to be two to four.”

With the Giants squad depth, however, there is a straight swap and Leutele's injury will see Jake Wardle make his opening appearance of 2021. 

“Jake will come straight in. Jake’s has a bit of an up and down pre-season where he was kind of in and out.

“He was a doubt for Leeds so we only gave him a short period in the centre and a bit of time on the wing in that one to manage him through, but he’s all good now and ready to go.”

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