Giants unhappy with early start

Huddersfield Giants (7/1 Grand Final winners) have had their planned pre-season schedule cut short by a week after being drawn to play Wigan in the opening fixture of the Super League season next year.

Huddersfield, who won the regular season but fell to Warrington Wolves (3/1 Grand Final winners) in the play-off semi-finals in 2013, will play Grand Final champions Wigan at the DW Stadium on February 7, cutting their pre-season preparations by a week.

The one-off fixture must be played a week early because the Warriors (7/2 Grand Final winners) travel to Australia to face Sydney Roosters, the NRL champions, in the World Club Challenge the following week.

But Giants coach Paul Anderson is unhappy with the decision, with a number of his players unable to return to pre-season training until after Christmas after playing in the World Cup.

“We’re a very pro-active club and we’d already put all our pre-season plans in place way before now, including the warm-up games we want to play,” he told the Huddersfield Examiner.

“But having now seen we’ll be starting a week earlier will have an effect on some of things we’ll be doing – although it’s hardly the end of the world and it’s just a case of getting on with it.

“Wigan are obviously in exactly the same boat as us, so we can’t complain on that score.

“And playing them first up could, in fact, work to our advantage, because it’s possible they could have one eye on getting on the plane to Australia and preparing for the World Club Challenge.”

Huddersfield’s face Hull KR in their first home fixture fortnight later and end their campaign with two matches at the John Smiths’ Stadium against Hull FC (14/1 Grand Final winners) and St Helens (5/1 Grand Final winners) next September.

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