GIANTS try-scorer Michael Lawrence goes into tomorrow’s clash with Super League leaders Harlequins admitting his England Knights call-up has given him a massive boost in confidence.
The 20-year-old winger (pictured), who darted over for a try in the 20-10 victory against Hull FC, says the clash with Rob Powell’s table toppers can’t come quickly enough for a Giants squad including new signings Dale Ferguson and Jamie Simpson for the first time.
And Lawrence is determined to show England coach Steve McNamara and the live Sky TV audience (8.00) that his first senior international recognition is fully merited.
“I was happy with my game against Hull because we won and I got on the scoresheet, but then to get the call-up for the Knights squad has given me a massive boost in confidence and I just want to kick on from here,” he explained.
“It will be a tough game against Harlequins because they have started the season very well and you can’t judge them on previous seasons – they are top of the league for a reason and you don’t get there unless you deserve to be there.
“We have to respect them for that and make sure we are on top of our game. We have to back up the win against Hull with another solid performance.”
Lawrence – known as Bruno – believes that tomorrow’s assignment at The Stoop is an early benchmark for the Giants.
“We have to go ready for battle and with the incentive to try and go top, so it’s a really big game,” he said.
“Keeping our discipline is the key. We gave away only five penalties against Hull and completed 80% – doing that alone will give you a good chance of winning any game.
“If you starve the opposition of the ball they can’t score and you can, and I would always back our defence against most teams.”
While Luke Robinson is still ruled out as he recovers from surgery, the addition of former Wakefield Trinity Wildcats’ second rower Ferguson and the talented Australian centre Simpson gives Brown’s squad a really solid look.
Both have been working under fitness conditioner Paul Watson for the last three weeks and are clearly now ready to challenge.
Kyle Wood, who stepped in against Hull for Keal Carlile, and Keith Mason are the men to make way.
Ferguson scored two tries for Wakefield in their Millennium Magic defeat by Castleford on the opening weekend of the season but has not seen match action since, while Simpson played for the Giants Under 20s against Hull FC at Laund Hill last week.
Both are exciting additions to the Giants mix and they couldn’t have a bigger chance to make an immediate impression than against the league leaders and on live national TV.
Giants – Scott Grix, Michael Lawrence, Leroy Cudjoe, Lee Gilmour, David Hodgson, Kevin Brown, Danny Brough, Eorl Crabtree, Darrell Griffin, Luke O'Donnell, David Fa’alogo, David Faiumu, Shaun Lunt, Larne Patrick, Graeme Horne, Jermaine McGillvary, Jon Molloy, Jamie Simpson, Dale Ferguson.