Simon Woolford expecting to leave Huddersfield at end of season

Huddersfield coach Simon Woolford expects to leave the Super League club at the end of the season despite having unfinished business.

The 45-year-old Australian, who joined the Giants from Newcastle Knights halfway through 2018, is out of contract at the end of the year and has been linked with a return to the NRL, with Penrith touted as a potential destination.

Woolford said: “At this stage, if I was a betting man, I’d probably say I’ll be going home.

“When I took this job on I always anticipated it being a three to four-year job. I’ve been here just over two years now and feel like we’ve made a lot of inroads with our squad.

“When I first got here it was pretty dire. The club was looking at relegation but we had a nice run of games when I got here in 2018 and last year we were cut down by injury and it was a tough year.

“But, if you look at our squad now and all things being equal, it’s a squad that can compete for trophies in Super League.

“I’d like to finish it but, at this stage, it looks like that won’t be the case. Funnier things have happened but we’ll wait and see what happens over the next month.”

There was no comment from the Huddersfield club.

Meanwhile, Woolford says he is preparing to go with just three players on the bench for the game against Saints at Headingley.

Huddersfield have a lengthy injury list and prop Suaia Matagi begins a two-match ban.

Woolford added: “I’m not sure how many are missing through injury but I do know the number that are available.

“It’s not ideal. We expected to go through a tough period but, to get such a heavy toll so early back is a concern for us.

“At this stage we’ve still got 16 for tomorrow. There’s one or two who we’ll give another crack tomorrow but I’m not anticipating any different.

“It is what it is. It will be a massive effort for the 16 that do play. We’ve still got a capable side and, if we work hard, we can give ourselves a chance.”

Woolford will hand debuts to former Leeds forward Owen Trout and ex-Bradford hooker Reiss Butterworth.

Woolford said: “Both guys deserve a chance. They’ve trained well and they’ve a chance to play against arguably the best team in the competition. I’m sure they’re going to play well for us.”

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