Huddersfield boss Ian Watson confirms injury blow to key half-back

Drew Darbyshire
Ian Watson Huddersfield Giants SWpix

Photo: Ed Sykes/SWpix

Huddersfield coach Ian Watson has revealed why half-back Olly Russell didn’t play in their 18-17 defeat to Leeds on Sunday night.

The 24-year-old was an absent name from the teamsheet in the final game of Rivals Round, with Watson confirming afterwards that Russell had suffered a hamstring injury in training.

“He torn his hammy in training,” Watson said. “We don’t know, we’re waiting for a scan.

“We’ve been training on a pitch which was perfect at Siddal and now we’re training on a different surface.

“It just goes to show the kind of quality of your surface makes a massive difference in what you can put out at the weekend. We didn’t have one hamstring strain whilst we were training on the pitch at Siddal.

“We’ve moved over here now and we’ve had two in Ash Golding and Oliver Russell and there has been other little niggles on the back end of that. Your training facilities as massively important in what you do. People don’t really look into it or don’t think it is but it is massively important in to what you do.”

When asked about the severity of the injury, Watson replied: “It looks bad. He’s still sore which is a good sign which means the tendon’s not come off but we need a scan to see where it is because at the moment our two main controllers (Theo Fages and Russell) are out of the team at the moment.

“When people ‘ask are you disheartened or positive?’ – I’m really positive because we’ve not got our full strength team out – by far – for what we envisage it to be, so once we get that I know we’ll be flying.”

Watson revealed that France international Theo Fages is still around five weeks away from returning to action.

Ian Watson taking plenty of positives from Headingley defeat

The Giants were 13-4 up at half-time, but the Rhinos fought back to claim an 18-17 in the final game of Rivals Round.

Huddersfield currently sit eighth in the Super League table, having won three from their first seven games of the season.

Watson added: “I think there are a lot of positives for us at the moment.

“We knew we were going to build this year and take some time getting people on the same page, but the big thing is that everyone who has played against us has been at full-strength.

“We’re a long way off that, and we’re facing a fair bit of adversity, but the way the boys are applying themselves is superb. We are showing some good signs and it will stand us in good stead for the remainder of the year.”

Next up for Huddersfield is a home game against Catalans on Friday night, 7:45pm kick-off.

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