Huddersfield could be without star man in Challenge Cup final

Drew Darbyshire
Ian Watson Huddersfield Giants

Huddersfield could be without key half-back Olly Russell for next Saturday’s Challenge Cup final after he damaged his hamstring in their win over Toulouse.

The 23-year-old has started all but two of Huddersfield’s 16 matches this year – but he might be forced to miss the final at Spurs. He left the field with a hamstring injury in their 17-16 win over Toulouse on Friday.

Huddersfield coach Ian Watson says Will Pryce will be included in their 21-man squad for the final after serving a 10-match ban.

Pryce will be competing for a place in the Giants team alongside Australian Jack Cogger to be Theo Fages’ half-back partner against Wigan if Russell fails to recover in time.

Watson said: “Olly felt his hamstring so he’s going to be a doubt. Apparently he’s not lost any strength which is a good sign.

“He’s been a big part of what we’ve done this year. He’s been absolutely phenomenal.

“Jack and Will will both be in the squad for next week and we’ll have a look at what’s the best fit. Jack has just had that game under his belt so we will have to see how they fit in when we get into training.”

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Mindful of cup final

It wasn’t the best of performances from Huddersfield this season and Watson admitted some of his players could have had their minds firmly set on the final next week.

He added: “The main thing was getting a result but we were really sloppy in the first half. We were a different team in the second half but, if we want to be a top team, we can’t drop off the week before a cup final. We will learn a lot of lessons from this.

“Maybe we had our minds on next week. That’s always the worry when you’ve not been to a cup final before. They all want to get through this game.

“But I don’t want to take anything away from Toulouse. I thought they were really good, especially in the first half.”

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