Giants aiming to end on a high
Huddersfield Giants and Warrington Wolves are adopting sharply contrasting attitudes going into the last round of the regular Super League season on Saturday.
The Giants and Wolves are confirmed in first and second place respectively going into the play-offs.
But while Huddersfield, who have the league leaders' shield safely tucked away in their trophy cabinet, will take close to a reserve team to Bradford Bulls, Warrington will be virtually at full strength for the trip to Perpignan to face the Catalan Dragons.
Forwards Michael Lawrence, David Fauimu and Ukuma Ta'ai and hooker Kyle Wood are the only members of coach Paul Anderson's 19-man squad who featured in last Sunday's 40-0 thrashing of Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
The remaining players are being rested for Thursday's qualifying play-off tie against Wigan Warriors at the John Smith's Stadium.
Lawrence, 22, who will captain a youthful Giants team, is still hoping Huddersfield can end their best Super League season on a high.
"Even though so many players are missing, we're still going to win," Lawrence said. "That would be the perfect end to an amazing week."
Youngsters Jake Connor, Nathan Mason, Jack Miller, Jack Blagbrough, Jared Simpson and Sean Pick are all vying to make their Super League debuts.
Bradford, too, are well below strength and coach Francis Cummins could hand debuts to hooker Nathan Conroy and full-back Curtis Naughton, who are joined in his 19-man squad by academy team-mates Sam Wood and Alex Mellor, as the Bulls look to bounce back from a shock home defeat to bottom club London Broncos.
"We'll need to play well whoever they put out," Cummins said.
"I am sure they will put out a much-changed team but, looking at our performance last week, they will probably think they only need to put out half a team!
"We are down to the bare bones, as we have been for the past few weeks, but we have to put that behind us and work hard.
"A lot of people will be expecting a cricket score, so we need to be at our best."
Warrington have centre Ryan Atkins back from a two-month lay-off with an ankle injury and full-back Brett Hodgson returns after missing last week's win at St Helens with a head knock.
That leaves only scrum-half Richie Myler on the sidelines as the Wolves look to take some momentum into next Saturday's qualifying play-off tie against Leeds Rhinos.
"We want to go into the play-offs with momentum and form under our belt," said Warrington captain Adrian Morley.
"It's always a tough place to go, with the travel and conditions, but I think it's great that we get a nice tough game like this coming into the play-offs.
"We've got Ryan Atkins back as well so we're looking in good shape."