Women’s Super League 2024: Huddersfield Giants season preview, player to watch, squad and prediction

Bethan Oates says…

THIS season is the first after being taken over by the club. It was a massive step for us as players and staff. It’s helped us develop in pre-season – we’ve had the correct facilities. That’s attracted players to come to us. 

We’ve got a new 4G pitch at Laund Hill, which is our ground, and having those facilities has made pre-season so much easier. 

The first aim is getting the culture right. I feel like if you haven’t got that culture on the field you’re never going to win. 

Now looking to the season, we want to make the semis, if not the final, for the Challenge Cup, and we want to be competing against the top three by the end of the season. 

There are high expectations. It will be tough against the top teams but if we can show we’ve improved on last season, that’s a massive step.

One to watch

ONE OF the most exciting wingers around is AMELIA BROWN who, by the end of 2023, had scored 49 tries in 33 top-flight appearances for the club. 

Her recent involvement with the England training squad will have given her a glimpse of what could be possible for her in the future if her form continues in the same vein. 

As one of only two Giants players signed to contracts, it’s clear the club value her input, and that should show itself by her taking a step up into more of a leadership role on the field.

Pundit’s view with Danika Priim

THE Giants have, by far, been the busiest in terms of recruitment this season, and they have also been smart off the field too. 

The team will now come under the banner of the main club rather than the Foundation, while Lori Halloran has been made the first full-time paid coach in the competition. 

She has been busy, bringing in forward duo Ellie Oldroyd and Paige Webster, former Bradford and Warrington hooker Grace Ramsden and an absolute favourite of mine, Sam Hulme from Leeds Rhinos, not to mention Kacy Healy from the Wolves among others. 

This makes the Giants the strongest they have ever been. They also showed their intent by handing contracts to captain Bethan Oates and new England squad member and proven try scorer Amelia Brown. 

Pre-season friendlies saw them test their mettle, and show many positive signs, against both St Helens and newly-promoted Barrow Raiders.

2024 squad

1 Amy Bennett, 2 Hannah Goddard, 3 Ana Da Silva, 4 Lois Naidole, 5 Amelia Brown, 6 Frankie Townend, 7 Sam Hulme, 8 Paige Webster, 9 Bethan Oates, 10 Ellie Oldroyd, 11 Jess Harrap, 12 Kacy Haley, 13 Katy Fisher, 14 Sienna McPherson, 15 Becky Grady, 16 Emma Wilkinson, 17 Megan Preston, 18 Grace Ramsden, 19 Beth Armstrong, 20 Georgia Hampshaw, 21 Lauren Waller, 22 Allana Waller, 23 Em Johnstone, 24 Ellie Thompson, 25 Chloe Fairbank.

Rugby League World predicts: 4th

First published in Rugby League World magazine, Issue 495 (April 2024)

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