DASHING defender Zac Williams is expected to be named for the GIANTS’ clash with Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium on Sunday.
The speedy Williams injured his left hamstring in the round four victory over Collingwood, and his rebound from the back half will be a welcome addition to a side that has faced plenty of scrutiny over its ball movement this season.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, 2018 club champion Lachie Whitfield said Williams would help improve the GIANTS’ forward entries - which are last in the competition.
"Zac plays fast and he's obviously an elite kick. He's got good speed with ball in hand, so it's an added boost," Whitfield said.
"With him out, we've had to shuffle around a few things, so players have played out of position which obviously doesn't help ball movement.
"To have him back, not only does he bring his attributes to the team, but he allows a few other players to play in their preferred positions, which will help the team and help the ball movement."
Callan Ward and Shane Mumford are also expected to be considered for a return to a side that defeated Richmond by 12 points in a Grand Final rematch last weekend.
Ward, the former captain, has recovered quicker than expected from a medial ligament strain in his right knee that he suffered in round six. Mumford missed the last match with a neck injury.
The GIANTS will leave Sydney on Thursday night and then be on the road for several weeks, after Queensland announced plans to close the border to NSW from Saturday.
The GIANTS will play Gold Coast on Sunday, followed by Essendon next Friday, but will now stay in a hub in Brisbane between those matches rather than fly back to Sydney in between.
Whitfield doesn't expect the move to a Queensland hub at short notice will have an impact on the team, or on the game against the Suns.
"I'm excited to go, personally. I know the majority of our younger boys are keen on it, getting up to a warmer state and just being together 24/7 is pretty exciting," the 26-year-old utility said.
"We were sort of scrambling last night, because we only found out the news yesterday," he said.
"It's going to be a challenge for those with kids and wives and partners, but for the majority of the group who don't have partners, and are young, it's going to be really exciting."
The GIANTS have won their past eight matches against the Suns, but their fellow expansion team look a different prospect this year with a change in personnel and lift in the pressure that they bring each week.
"They look a really different team this year. They're full of energy and they hunt the footy really well," Whitfield said.
"It's going to be a contested game, I think they're number one for pressure in the comp, so that's what we expect; a high-pressure game, highly skilled game, fast game. It's going to be pretty exciting."