There are just four days to go until the Giants’ first game of 2020, and twenty-four until our Super League campaign kicks off in Perpignan. As the Cowbell Army eagerly anticipate some squad numbers, more and more speculation gathers about who’ll be playing where.
That’s where you come in. Put yourself in Woolford’s shoes, imagine our dressing room is fully fit (I know, I know), and choose your ideal starting 17 here, and share it with the world!
With Ashton Golding brought in as a specialist fullback, there’ll be competition on the wings as McIntosh looks to keep his place in the first team. Innes and Louis Senior – who each had an excellent 2019 – will have something to say about that, as will Uate, who has plenty to prove following a disappointing year of injuries.
Speaking of injuries, nobody will be more eager to get out on that field than Leroy Cudjoe, after making just one appearance in the past 16 months. But with Turner’s stellar efforts in 2019 and Jake Wardle finally nailing down some consistent game time, it’s going to be a tough call.
In the pack, Jake’s brother Joe will be looking to nail down some consistent game time in the back row, but he’ll be competing with fellow first-team regulars Ukuma Ta’ai and Aaron Murphy. New signing Kenny Edwards will certainly be hoping to crash that party, and after a difficult season of injury, Oliver Roberts will be looking to bounce back to his best and break into the side, with the likes of Sam Hewitt, Sam Wood and Chester Butler not far behind.
Despite all this, the front row may be the cause of the biggest selection headache. With Ukuma just as comfortable at prop as he is in the back row, you can add him to the list of Matagi, Clough, Walne and the Polar Twins (English and Wilson), who have all proven themselves for the Claret and Gold. James Gavet will be looking to enforce his way into that side, and depending on who’s picked at Loose Forward, Bruno may also come into consideration. 8 names. Pick 4.
And that just leaves the rest of our spine. Gaskell, Sezer and O’Brien are certainly the favourites to grab the 6, 7 and 9 roles, but it’s unlikely we’ll be expecting Adam to play 80 minutes every week. Arguably the biggest question ahead of 2020, is who will support him as interchange hooker? Behind Gaskell and Sezer, we could see Holmes or Russell transition to this role, while young Reiss Butterworth will be seeing this as his time to step up and establish himself in Super League
With that in mind – who would you pick? Choose your 1-17 here