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SUPER LEAGUE PREVIEW | Huddersfield Giants vs Catalans Dragons

There’s free entry as Huddersfield host Catalans in a massive clash for the top eight. Here’s everything you need to know…

TEAM NEWS

Huddersfield Giants

Huddersfield chairman Ken Davy has made this fixture free of charge to fans, in a bid to get a strong support behind new coach Simon Woolford.

He makes two changes to his 19-man squad from the 25-18 win at Leeds last Friday, with Dale Ferguson returning to action after more than two months on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.

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Oliver Roberts also returns after missing the trip to Headingley, while Paul Clough and Innes Senior drop out. Young half-back Olly Russell keeps his place after impressing last week in what was the Giants’ fourth Super League win in a row.

Huddersfield 19-man squad: McGillvary, Cudjoe, Turner, Murphy, Gaskell, Ikahihifo, Leeming, Lawrence, Hinchcliffe, Ferguson, Rankin, Roberts, Smith, O’Brien, Mellor, McIntosh, Wood, English, Russell.

Catalans Dragons

Catalans coach Steve McNamara is forced to make two changes to the squad that won 32-12 at home to Widnes last Saturday.

Antoni Maria misses out with an ankle injury, while Fouad Yaha received a one-match suspension from the Match Review Panel for a shoulder charge on Rhys Hanbury.

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In their places come Vincent Duport and Jason Baitieri, as the Dragons search for a sixth consecutive win in all competitions and look to overtake their opponents in eighth place.

Catalans 19-man squad: Mead, Wiliame, Langi, Casty, Moa, Anderson, Garcia, Bird, Bousquet, Simon, Duport, Baitieri, McIlorum, Tierney, Jullien, Gigot, Goudemand, Drinkwater, Edwards.

HEAD TO HEAD

These sides met just two weeks ago in the Challenge Cup, when the Dragons won 20-6 in a low-quality game at the John Smith’s Stadium to progress to the semi-finals.

In total Catalans have now won on their last three trips to Huddersfield. They also won the Super League reverse earlier in the season, defeating the Giants 27-6 on Easter Monday.

KEY BATTLE – Olly Russell vs Josh Drinkwater

Huddersfield coach Simon Woolford has kept faith in young scrum-half Olly Russell after his fantastic performance in last week’s win over Leeds, which was just his second appearance for the first team.

He’ll need to outperform Josh Drinkwater if the home side are to get the win though. Drinkwater has been hugely influential since joining less than two months, playing a key part in the upturn in form, and was key to the win over the Giants in the cup a fortnight ago.

THE IMPORTANT DETAILS

Date: Friday 15 June
Venue: John Smith’s Stadium
Kick-off: 7:45pm
Referee: Gareth Hewer

WHO WILL WIN?

Who do you think will take the two points here?

I am a 19-year-old Sports Journalism student at the University of Huddersfield. I cover a lot of rugby league, following Hull FC and Huddersfield Giants and working for Halifax RLFC. If you want to see more of my ramblings on rugby and football then follow me on Twitter @stibbo99.

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