Huddersfield Giants and England winger Jermaine McGillvary admits he’s looking forward to hopefully facing former club Batley Bulldogs in the Qualifiers: saying he’s over the moon they have put themselves in with a chance of promotion to Super League.
McGillvary spent time out on loan at Batley earlier in his career, before a real breakthrough year in 2015 for the Giants, when he also forced his way into England reckoning under Steve McNamara.
And the winger told TotalRL that he’s delighted to see them in the ‘middle eight’ given the resources at their disposal.
He said: “I’m so happy for everyone associated with Batley Bulldogs.
“It’s an outstanding achievement what they’ve done, to be a part-time club and finish third? That’s outstanding and it’s huge for them, I’m made up for them, I really am.
“I’m looking forward to facing them if I’m fit and ready to go, because I’ll want to do a job over them! But whether they finish top, middle or bottom then they’ll have had a great year and they should be very proud of that.”
McGillvary also pulled no punches when asked about Huddersfield’s chances in the Qualifiers: admitting jobs are on the line.
The Giants enter the Qualifiers having finished bottom of Super League after the 23-round regular season, and the winger says he’s solely focussed on club level rather than trying to impress new England coach Wayne Bennett.
“I need to focus on my job at the end of the day rather than England. I need to worry about Huddersfield,” he said.
“If we go to play the Championship teams and start throwing the ball around it will even out, but if we can keep them on the back foot we can hopefully tire them out and pick up some vital wins. I’ve watched plenty of Championship rugby and know we could get beat if we’re careless. We’ve not set the league alight so we’re there for the taking in the eyes of these Championship teams.
“We’ll aim to win them all; people have said win five and you’re safe but we don’t want to scrape in there, we want to go into these Qualifiers and make a huge impact on proceedings. It’s a second chance to put some smiles on peoples faces, save our jobs and more so we’ll be doing our best to put things right.”
McGillvary also revealed he’s hopeful of being fit for round one of the Qualifiers – but insisted he won’t rush his recovery.