Huddersfield have received a double boost for tomorrow lunchtime's game at Hull, as they attempt to keep up with the pace at the top of Super League.
Two forwards, David Fa'alogo and Andy Raleigh, are fit to return after injury, but perhaps more important to the Giants is the news this week that Nathan Brown is staying on as coach for at least another year.
Brown says that he does not expect his decision to affect his players one way or another, but it was uncertainty about his future that undermined Huddersfield's progress last season, and that situation has been avoided this time.
"Everyone was delighted to hear the news that Browny was staying," said Giants second-rower Danny Kirmond. "It hasn't really played on the players' minds too much, but everyone is really pleased with the news.
"Nathan has taken the club forward a considerable amount over the last two-and-a-half seasons, so it's a boost for everyone to know that he's staying.
"When he walks into a room, he's got an air of confidence and that transfers itself to the players," he added. "He doesn't talk any nonsense and he tells you exactly how it is. That sort of honesty is appreciated. If you haven't been on your game, there's every chance you won't be playing the following week."
The game is likely to be not only early in the day, but a little too early for Sean Long. The Hull scrum-half is back in training after his broken thumb, but will probably be held back for next weekend's Hull derby.
Meanwhile, the club have agreed a deal with the player who could be his long-term successor. Leigh's former St Helens half-back, Jamie Ellis, is set to join Hull for the start of next season.
Salford, who are at Bradford tomorrow, could have hit a snag in their move for Wests Tigers' assistant, Peter Gentle, as their potential new coach.
Gentle is understood to want to finish this season with his NRL club, which could open the door for other Australian candidates, such as the former Salford player, Andrew Dunemann, or Penrith's Steve Georgallis. Bradford are without the suspended Gareth Raynor, but have Paul Sykes and Marc Herbert back on duty.
Wakefield will not pitch their new Australian prop, Jarred Hickey, into the fray immediately after his arrival, but have Chris Dean back from injury, as well as Tyrone McCarthy and Liam Higgins – who were both cup-tied last week – for their game against Catalans, who have Clint Greenshields back.
Julien Rinaldi misses out for the Wildcats, against his old club, leaving the hooking role open for Matthew Wildie, 20, who agreed a new two-year contract this week.
Warrington's Chris Riley is in line to make his debut on loan to Harlequins in their game at Castleford.Reuse content