Big Eorl is braced for the 'worst' week yet
BIG Eorl Crabtree is dreading his week on the Algarve!
The 24-year-old England prop, right, jets off to Portugal with the rest of the Giants' Super League squad later today.
It will be the third year in succession Crabtree has spent a week of intense training with the Giants at the Brown's Leisure Complex.
He admits the facilities available are second-to-none and that he is looking forward to spending a week training out of the rain!
But he knows he will have little chance to sit back and admire his new surroundings when he settles in.
"I know a lot of people think we go to Portugal for a week of rest and relaxation," said Crabtree.
"I can assure you, that couldn't be further from the truth. It'll be the 'worst' week of the year!
"Last year was incredibly tough, and it took us all by surprise.
"The tone was set on day one. As soon as we got to our rooms, we were told we had 10 minutes to unpack before we had to get onto the training field!
"I'm sure it will be pretty similar this time as well.
"In a sense, I'm looking forward to it, because I know how hard it will be and how much benefit it will do us as we prepare for the new season.
"That has to be the consolation."
Crabtree has already put in some quality work in pre-season.
Like the rest of the squad, he is feeling fitter and stronger than ever.
And he also believes he is benefiting tremendously from working alongside new Australian prop John Skandalis and new coach Paul Anderson.
"I grew up watching Paul and always rated him as one of the best props in the business," added the Huddersfield-born forward.
"I had tremendous respect for him before he joined us as a coach, but now that respect has grown.
"I've already learned a tremendous amount off him, and I know that's an opinion shared by the other props at the club.
"And John is proving just as good.
"He really does know the game inside out, and I'm picking up a lot off him in training.
"I can't wait to play alongside him.
"But what I'm looking forward to more than anything is testing myself out on the field.
"Unlike a lot of my teammates, I've trimmed down a little.
"Yet, at the same time, I'm now stronger than I was last year.
"I can't wait to get cracking again."