RISING Giants star Michael Lawrence is relishing facing Leeds Rhinos for the first time after hitting the form of his life.
The 19-year-old centre produced top-quality displays as second-placed Huddersfield beat Celtic Crusaders and Hull KR in their Easter Super League games.
The wins have put Lawrence and the Giants in buoyant mood as they prepare to welcome the defending champions to the Galpharm tomorrow (6.00), with coach Nathan Brown’s side seeking an eighth win from 10 top-flight outings.
And Great Britain Academy ace Lawrence – known as Bruno to teammates – can’t wait to lock horns with the Rhinos.
“I’ve always been proud to play for the Giants, and I’ve never been as proud as I am now,” said Lawrence, who celebrated his birthday (on Easter Sunday) with two tries at Hull KR.
“This season has been absolutely fantastic. In fact, it couldn’t have been much better,” he said.
“I believe I’m improving with every game I play, and I believe we’re also improving as team.
“We all know we’re going to need to continue to improve against Leeds.
“They’ve struggled in recent weeks, but because they’re the current champions we know it’s not going to be long before they’re winning games again.
“But with the way we’re playing we’re all confident and looking forward to taking them on.
“Leeds are the only team I haven’t played against in Super League.
“I wasn’t part of the side for the opening game of last season and I missed the return fixture because I was flying out to Australia with the Great Britain Academy squad on the following day.
“I’ve always enjoyed testing myself against the best, and Leeds are obviously among the best, and I can’t wait to test myself against Keith Senior.
“He’s been one of the best centres in the world for years and it’ll be another top challenge.”
While Lawrence is a confirmed starter, there will be at least two changes from the side who won 30-8 at Hull KR.
New signing Liam Fulton could be sidelined for 10 weeks with a knee injury, while Andy Raleigh is also struggling with a knee problem and is expected to be out for two weeks.
Second row Raleigh is being sent for a precautionary scan.