GIANTS players, you have been warned!
Eorl Crabtree and Luke Robinson have taken on a new role for Super League XVII – Examiner columnists.
And they’ve made it clear from the start that none of their teammates are safe!
The England pair may be two of the most popular members of the squad, but that hasn’t prevented them from copping a fair amount of flak off their so-called Huddersfield friends in the past.
Yet now they have the ability to mount a devastating counter-attack (if required) by naming and shaming their antagonists in public – and the mischievous duo can’t wait!
“I can’t wait to get cracking,” said hooker Robinson.
“In fact, I feel a bit like a main man in a Mafia film. Everyone can have a go, but they can expect something back, so they have been warned!
“In the past, you usually just get the one chance to have a crack at your teammates when you dish the dirt in the match programme. What I usually do in this instance is keep my powder dry and what for my turn to get stuck in.
“But now I’ve got the luxury of being able to do it on a regular basis, which should be fun.
“As a result, I expect everyone to watch their back, particularly Lee Gilmour. He better keep quiet or else he’s a dead man.
“Gilly’s a classic example of someone who likes to dish it out on a regular basis, but isn’t the best at taking it, so there could be some fun and games there!
“All the lads know I can take the abuse and give it out, it’s just that I’ve now got a bit more weight to what I can send them back.
“It’s a good position to find myself in!”
Those sentiments were echoed by his new partner-in-crime, big prop Crabtree, who’s also relishing his new role.
“I really enjoy doing my media work on the radio, and doing this column is another exciting string to my bow,” said Crabtree, pictured right, with his new partner-in-crime.
“This is another way in which I can express my views, and get my own back on my teammates at the same time!
“Robbo and myself know this is our chance to keep everyone in check, but we’ve got one or two things we intend to include on a regular basis.
“Here at the Giants, we hand out a special award called ‘The Helmet of the Week’ and we do believe it’s our duty to make the details of this award public from now on. It’s our way of giving something back to the fans, because we like to keep them up to speed as much as we can.
“But even though we intend to have some fun in this column, we both appreciate this is just a light sideline.
“Much of what we’ll be talking about is on the back of how we’re playing, and if one or two results go against us, it won’t exactly be a ‘laughathon’.
“Having said that, I don’t think it’ll happen too often, if at all.
“Obviously, it’s well documented how many injuries to forwards we’ve got for the start of the season, but we won’t be hiding behind that as an excuse.
“We’ve got quality players ready to push up from back-row to prop and some really talented youngsters who’ve come up and are looking to take their chance with both hands, which I’m confident they will. And I’m also personally excited about how the year might go.
“During pre-season I’ve lost about 6kg, and I feel a lot better and a lot fitter for it. I’m looking forward to ripping in again!”
Robinson is also relishing the season ahead.
“This pre-season is like no other I’ve ever experienced,” he said.
“In the 10 years I’ve played the game at this level, I’ve never known so many operations having to take place at the end of the season.
“That obviously means we’re going to be a bit light at the start of the year, but it’s at times like this that you often see youngsters come from nowhere, make the most of their opportunity and start to make a name for themselves. With the quality of young player we’ve got here, that could well happen for us.
“But we’re still going to much stronger when we get all our injured players back and, when we do, we know we’re going to take an awful lot of beating!”