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Luke George wants to lay down a marker for next season
When Sky Sports picked today’s match for live television coverage, they clearly anticipated the outcome would mean something.
Such as Paul Anderson’s men seeking to wrap up the League Leaders’ Shield.
Or the Bulls looking to squeeze into the play-off places.
Then there was the added sub-plot of Craig Kopczak’s return following his contentious defection 12 months ago.
Well, Sky must be kicking themselves right now because none of the above scenarios will materialise.
The League Leaders’ Shield is already under lock and key at the John Smith’s Stadium, the Bulls’ play-off hopes ended three weeks ago and Kopczak will play no part.
He is among a number of first-choice Huddersfield players rested with next Thursday’s home play-off showdown with Wigan in mind.
One Huddersfield player whose presence will attract the interest of Bradford supporters is Luke George, who will join the Bulls on a two-year deal next season and will make his first appearance since late June today.
He said: “It’s been a long time coming but everyone’s been playing so well it’s been hard to force my way in.
“We’ve only really suffered one or two short-term injuries rather than any bad ones, and the medical team have done a great job so there’s not been too much disruption to the side.
“But I’m looking forward to playing again. I’ll just treat it like any other game but hopefully I’ll play well enough to show the Bradford fans what I’m capable of.
“It’s more about this year for me and getting the two points.”
Former Bulls prop Anderson clearly has one eye on next week’s play-off game with Wigan as he prepares to field a side flooded with Academy players.
But George is keen to lay down a marker as Huddersfield seek to reach a maiden Grand Final.
Last week’s win over Wakefield saw the Giants finish the regular season in top spot for the first time in 81 years.
“Everyone’s been buzzing this week and the Mayor of Huddersfield actually invited us to a bit of a reception on Tuesday,” said Huddersfield-born George.
“That shows that it’s a big deal not just for the club and us as players but the whole town.
“For us local lads it’s been great winning the League Leaders’ Shield but more so for Eorl (Crabtree) given how long he’s been here - far longer than anyone else.
“It would be good to show what I can do this evening but obviously I’ve got to see what the coach decides in terms of next week’s play-off game.
“You can’t really change a winning team like we’ve got at the moment.
“The side is performing so well so I’ll just go along, bide my time, hopefully put in a good performance at Bradford and if it happens it happens. If not, I’m right behind the lads as always.”
At 25, George’s experience will be important this evening in a Huddersfield side awash with youthful promise.
“They’re a good bunch of lads who have gone well in the under-19s this year,” he said.
“Jake Connor is probably the one to watch out for. He is a top-class kid who has just turned 18 and is real star already.
“He’s played for England Academy and can play centre, half-back or full back, one of those players who is a great asset to us.”
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