HUDDERSFIELD Giants full-back Scott Grix is excited by what the inaugural Qualifiers could bring given his previous involvement with so many of those in the mix, writes Dave Craven.
Admittedly, he is hoping to fire the Fartowners to Old Trafford with the side likely to confirm another top-four finish in the final regular round of the season against Wakefield Trinity Wildcats tomorrow.
Grix has a battle on given the 31-year-old has again been omitted for impressive teenager Jared Simpson, who this week earned a new full-time two-year deal.
Aside from that personal battle, the Ireland international will also have a keen eye on what happens at the other end of the table in the weeks ahead.
Bottom-placed Wakefield will be embroiled in the Qualifiers as will Leigh and Halifax, the Championship sides with whom he played second-tier rugby before his shot at the elite with Trinity at the relatively late age of 23.
Grix also played in the lower levels with Widnes Vikings, the Super League team who are in the bottom four, too, and under threat via the new system.
He is impressed by those in the Championship and added: “It is better now. I was in one of three full-time sides (Leigh and Widnes) the last couple of seasons I played in that with relegation/promotion still on so it was decent then, too.
“But everyone went away from that (full-time) until now and it’s great it’s back. I know a lot of lads in there who get overshadowed. I was lucky when I got my go with Wakefield.
“John (Kear) had a bit of a thing for bringing a few National League players in but because of the pressures of Super League I do think a lot also get overlooked.
“It’s going to be interesting now to see how everyone does in the Qualifiers, especially two of my old teams Halifax and Leigh.
“Wakefield are getting better, too, though. They’ll want to stick two fingers up at everyone.”
Huddersfield coach Paul Anderson has also left out centre Joe Wardle tomorrow and recalled young second-row Oli Roberts from a dual-registration deal at Oldham. Chris Bailey, the Australian back-row out since April with a torn biceps, returns for the injured Brett Ferres with Kruise Leeming coming in for broken foot victim Kyle Wood.