26 Aug 2021
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Ian Watson has confirmed that three senior players - Jermaine McGillvary, Chris McQueen and Ricky Leutele, will be fit to play against Warrington Wolves in the Betfred Super League Round 21 clash tonight.
"Jermaine will be available this week. We're lucky this week because we felt for a number of younger players, the games were beginning to catch up with them, so it's great to get three senior players back in Ricky Leutele, Jermaine McGillvary and Chris McQueen" said Ian Watson.
The return of the senior players means that the Giants will be able to rest a number of the younger players who have broken into the squad in the second half of the season. Returning squad depth is massive for the Giants, says Watson.
"It's a massive positive for us, we're looking forward to getting them in and giving some of the younger players a break"
The return of McGillvary comes after a run which saw him score 7 tries in 3 games, including a four-trick against Hull FC. Watson's excited to see the Great Britain winger back in the Giants side.
"He was a bit sore after the last game and he wasn't supposed to play last week, he's trained well and he's put his hand up to play this week so we're looking forward to getting him back."
The Giants also welcome back Chris McQueen, and the Giants Head Coach has stressed the importance of the former State of Origin man on the rest of the Giants squad. Had he have played, Watson says, the Giants narrow losses in the last few weeks might have been wins.
"There's no coincidence that we've played better when Chris McQueen is on the pitch. He's a big player. When you're looking at someone who's played at the highest level, the rest of the team plays better when they're in the team. We feel we would have won some of those games that we've narrowly lost if he was off the field."
Watson also spoke about the future of Luke Yates, and confirmed that the forward would be retained for the 2022 season and hailed the relationship between himself and the 26-year-old.
“Luke is going to be with us in 2022. I’ve been speaking to Luke all the time – we have a great relationship. He does want to go back to the NRL at some point but he knows at this moment in time this is the best place for him.
“His performances have been outstanding. He’s really happy where he is not only on the rugby side of things but personal life. He’s told us he wants to be here long-term going forward – it’s good he’s getting attention from the NRL as it means he’s performing at a high level.
“But he’s speaking to Richard [Thewlis] as we speak about his contract and staying here long-term. I want him with us to help us create a legacy at Huddersfield so when he does go back everyone will look back on his time and say how good he was for this club.”