Huddersfield Giants coach Rick Stone has said he is genuinely not sure whether he thinks Hull KR will bring back Albert Kelly from the cold for the game dubbed as the ‘Half Million Pound Game’ on Saturday.
The victor from Saturday’s televised game will be assured of a spot in the top flight once again next year, with the loser facing the drama and turbulence of the Million Pound Game the following week.
Both teams will name their squads for the game today (Thursday), and with the Robins leaving Kelly out of their last three games following his internal suspension, Stone admits he’s unsure what they will do with the half-back.
“I’m not sure if he’ll play, I don’t know the ins and outs of their situation with Albert,” he said.
“I’ve had a bit to do with him at Newcastle and I know he’s a terrific, dangerous player. On his day he can be a real damaging player and it’s up to them to decide whether he plays.
“Hopefully we’ll be ready for him if he plays. He’s a decent, strike player and he has a good running game with a lovely left-to-right pass. He can do things other people can’t and if he plays he’ll give them a chance. I don’t know the full scenario, it’s not my business and I’m just preparing to beat his team.”
Irrespective of the situation regarding Kelly, Stone insists his side will be facing a Hull KR side with plenty of strike and threat.
“They’ve got a decent side,” he said.
“Shaun Lunt is a good starter at hooker, they’ve got some good forwards in (Dane) Tilse and (Adam) Walker who can offload, Albert Kelly is a threat if he plays and Campo is a good ball player who plays well on the back of momentum.
“They’ve got plenty of strike in their team and scored plenty of points in the Qualifiers. The game being at 12:30pm is an interesting one, it’s a different scenario for the boys but the field is still the same length.
“Jamie Peacock will be another solid player for them and it’s a good story for them and it’s good that Jamie has made himself available to help his club.”
And in terms of his own selection, Stone said they have only one dilemma on their hands: whether prop Sam Rapira will pass the necessary tests to be passed fit to play.
“Sam is going through the process to see if he’s going to be available,” Stone said.
“At the moment he’s ticking all the boxes and there’s a couple left to tick but we’re quietly confident he’ll make it. There’s a couple of things he’s got to do to prove to us he’s ready.
“We’ve no other problems otherwise. We’re not expecting any other changes from our team to be honest. It seems like that’s the only one we’re unsure about.”