Kirby can’t wait to get started

Huddersfield Daily Examiner - - FRONT PAGE -

HUD­DER­S­FIELD Gi­ants Un­der 19s team start their new sea­son with a home test against Wi­gan War­riors.

They get un­der way to­mor­row at Lockwood Park (7pm) and will be in con­fi­dent mood hav­ing de­feated Wake­field Trin­ity 36-18 away from home in their only pre-sea­son friendly.

Prop for­ward Jon Luke Kirby scored two tries in the win over Trin­ity and is look­ing for­ward to get­ting into the com­pet­i­tive cam­paign.

“I think it’s go­ing to be a tough game but we’re all look­ing for­ward to it,” said the Eng­land Academy in­ter­na­tional.

“We’ve had a long pre-sea­son and have done plenty of prepa­ra­tion so we know what to ex­pect.

“It’s al­ways the same when you play Wi­gan, al­ways a tough and phys­i­cal match, but we played well in the friendly against Wake­field and it gave us some con­fi­dence go­ing into this game, so we’re all look­ing for­ward to the match.”

Kirby is hop­ing that Gi­ants fans will turn out in num­bers to give the club’s young­sters back­ing through­out the sea­son.

“The games are def­i­nitely en­ter­tain­ing for the sup­port­ers,” said Kirby.

“There’s some great games. Last year there were some re­ally close games with great qual­ity, we would go for 20 min­utes with­out er­rors and it would be re­ally end-to-end.

“It’s quick, fast and it’s ex­cit­ing. It’s great to watch and it’s great to play in – so it makes a fan­tas­tic game to watch for spec­ta­tors.”

Kirby was pleased to score two tries against Wake­field, but is more both­ered about team wins than how pro­lific he be­comes on the touch­down front.

“It’s al­ways nice get­ting over, but it’s part of the par­cel of the game,” said Kirby.

“It’s mainly how we play to­gether, as a team, and the Wake­field game was re­ally en­cour­ag­ing,

“I thought we played well and there were plenty of pos­i­tives to take. As al­ways there was a few things that we could work on, but for the first run out to­gether it was very pos­i­tive and I think we’re look­ing good.”

On a per­sonal front Kirby will be hop­ing that he can make the kind of im­pact that will lead to the chance of a first team run out – work­ing with play­ers who are al­ready help­ing the young­sters progress.

“I like play­ing front-row, but I have al­ways been a fan of Sean O’Lough­lin, but look­ing closer to home Ryan Hinch­cliffe is a great pro­fes­sional player and I can re­ally re­late to some of the things he says.

“If you look at some of the things he does and fol­low them, you’re not go­ing to go far wrong.

“As for my play­ing style, I just like to work as hard as I can and get through as much work as I can to help the boys in any way that I can.

“I try to get about and make sure that I do my job to the best of my abil­ity, like win­ning the ruck and get­ting some quick plays of the ball, just fo­cus­ing on what’s my job and mak­ing ev­ery­one else’s job a lot eas­ier.”

Academy head coach, Luke Robin­son, will be tak­ing charge of the Un­der 19s for his sec­ond full sea­son and Kirby is pleased with the team’s de­vel­op­ment un­der the for­mer Gi­ants hooker.

“Robbo is bril­liant, he’s a great coach for us,” added Kirby.

“I think there’s been loads of im­prove­ment over pre-sea­son and the things that Robbo has changed have helped bring us on mas­sively. You can see the in­di­vid­ual pro­gres­sion that Robbo has brought about for all the play­ers and I think he’s made a big dif­fer­ence.”

Ad­mis­sion prices for the games at Lockwood Park are £3 for adult Gi­ants sea­son-ticket hold­ers, £3.50 for adults, £2 for con­ces­sion Gi­ants sea­son-ticket hold­ers, £2.50 for con­ces­sions and all Un­der 16s en­ter free of charge.

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