Ryan Brierley is hoping to add some extra weight to the Huddersfield Giants’ 2017 Super League cause.
The 24-year-old half-back is already back in full Huddersfield pre-season training after playing a key role in Scotland’s recent Four Nations campaign against England, Australia and New Zealand.
“This time of the year is going to be massive for me,” said Brierley.
“When I was playing last season I was almost already looking forward to pre-season and how beneficial that would be for me.
“And I’m loving it!
“The work ethic from not just the players, but the staff as well has been incredible. (Giants assistant coach) Chris Thorman has been my weights partner and it adds a real competitive edge to my training and his training.
“Just to have someone on the same wavelength as you, obviously as a previous half-back for the club, is nice, although it is a bit weird seeing him in training with these guys.
“But I’m certainly feeling the real benefits of it.
“I’ve put a lot of weight on in the three weeks I’ve been back at the club. It’s probably the heaviest I’ve been in my career, which is a good thing and something I needed to work on, and Chris can take full credit for that.”
And Brierley is desperate to build on what was a strong end to his year, having starred for Scotland after playing a key role in helping the Giants retain their Super League status via the Middle 8s.
“The Four Nations was massive for me. We all dream of being international players, but I probably won’t understand how much a big deal it was until I finish my career,” he added.
“To play against Australia in my first international game was an incredible experience. You’re not going to get much tougher than that, but that’s the best way to learn and get better, which is something I’m determined to do.
“I still see myself as a young kid, so it is nice to learn, and I’m enjoying trying to do that.
“Obviously I played a bit-part last year but finished the season strongly, which was a real morale booster for me.
“I’m just glad we could get through those Middle 8s and achieve Super League status again.
“As a group, we need to perform far better than we did last year, everyone knows that. We let ourselves down, but things are going really well in training and it should be exciting times for us.”