GIANTS star Eorl Crabtree is backing Huddersfield’s England Knights trio to soon follow in his footsteps.
An operation on an elbow injury has denied the Giants prop the chance to line up for England in the current series against Wales and France, but the 30-year-old is expecting clubmates Michael Lawrence, Shaun Lunt and Greg Eden to be pushing to join him in the senior squad.
Two Giants go head-to-head in Wrexham today with Leroy Cudjoe pulling on an England shirt while new signing Craig Kopczak skippers Wales, while Lawrence and Lunt will be playing for the Knights at Edinburgh’s Meggetland Stadium tomorrow – Greg Eden, who has been included in Knights’ coach Kieron Purtill’s squad of 19, again set to sit it out as he did for last weekend’s 56-4 defeat of Ireland at Deramore Park.
Crabtree is especially pleased for the Newsome Panthers product Lawrence – a try-scorer in Belfast – and said: “They are all quality players, but I am particularly proud of Bruno (Michael Lawrence).
“He really has come so far in the game, but he is what I would call a ‘test match’ trainer.
“By that I mean he always works his socks off in training, he runs hard, he tackles hard and always puts his hand up when it comes to putting the work in.
“The Knights call was exactly what he deserved and for him to be in that set-up is right because he will again develop as a player and it has already been shown that the Knights can move on to be full England players.
“I am sure playing well for the Knights will spur him on to do even better in the game.”
As for Lunt, who returned to the Giants after his successful loan spell that saw him become a Super League Grand Final winner with Leeds Rhinos, Crabtree feels the hooker could almost be like a new signing for Huddersfield.
“It is good to have Shaun back because he is a great player and we already know just what a good job he can do for us,” said Crabtree.
“He went to Leeds and did a great job and went on to win something.
“The move was certainly a good decision for him personally, but I do feel that we missed him towards the back end of last season.
“I am sure he will figure more in the plans of (Giants head coach) Paul Anderson this time round, and if that is the case then, for us, it is almost like having another new signing.”