Stevie J set to play, foundation Giant on the cusp

Steve Johnson is set to get the green light as Greater Western Sydney consider fighting fire with fire against Richmond in Saturday's preliminary final.

Giants coach Leon Cameron is leaning towards naming an unchanged 22, but may yet inject more speed into the side in a bid to counter the Tigers' mosquito fleet.

Forward Devon Smith is in the frame for a recall after training on Wednesday, but his fate hinges on whether the Giants believe they need more pace.

Smith would likely come in for either tall defender Adam Tomlinson or 194-centimetre utility Harry Himmelberg, who face nervous waits if Cameron opts for a shorter team.

Johnson is all but guaranteed to line up for his 26th final after the club confirmed he had no issues completing training, though it could have implications for his availability in the grand final, should the Giants win through.

That was not a consideration, Cameron said, despite Johnson's trouble in playing back-to-back games due to a knee issue that prevents him from being any more than 90 per cent fit. Johnson has not played three consecutive games since round nine.

"I don't look at it as rolling the dice," Cameron said. "If he's fit and ready to roll, he plays. I'm not even worried about the week after. If we're good enough to win, we'll deal with the week after then.

"I'm not even looking at back-to-back seven-day breaks. Our main focus is on the Tigers on Saturday and nothing else matters. If you lose it doesn't matter. If he's fit and he's ready to go and gets through his 30 minutes and pulls up well he runs out on Saturday afternoon."

Cameron said Smith had improved from 80 per cent to 95 per cent, but his untimely knee issue could yet cost him.

"He's got some miles into his legs while he's been doing that, which is really pleasing," Cameron said. It's not as if he hasn't been training and today is a really big session for him. If he gets through the entire session he'll definitely be putting his hand up to play this weekend.

"No doubt the 22 that played last week played some good footy. A lot of those guys that played were in pretty good form. It will be hard to change that 22.

"In saying that, Richmond are a unique side in terms of their front half so we will look at that. No doubt we will discuss 'do we need to bring in another runner in the back half' but, equally, they might have to look at our back line as well," he said.

"It will be hard to change the 22, but I want to make sure all our guys get through training today with a full book of health so it gives us that option."

The Giants are adamant they will not get stage fright in front of the expected 90,000 pro-Richmond fans, the biggest crowd the expansion club has played in front of. Instead, they have been told to embrace the occasion.

"I don't want our players to shy away from it," Cameron said. "The atmosphere is electric. This is what all of our players do pre-seasons for. We've done six pre-seasons now, we're prepared and ready to roll.

"I'm confident the 22 we pick will have fantastic moments, there'll be moments where they look back say they could have been better there. I don't expect our players to be overawed by the crowd."

This story Stevie J set to play, foundation Giant on the cusp first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.