Super League XXII could be the making of Kruise Leeming.
That’s the view of Giants head coach Rick Stone ahead of the start of Monday’s pre-season campaign.
With the release of Kyle Wood and news Jamie Ellis is to join Hull KR on a season-long loan, two potential 2017 hookers have left the Huddersfield scene in the space of a week.
That means Ryan Hinchcliffe and Leeming are leading the Giants queue to fill the No9 roles next season.
And having just turned 21 earlier in the month, the experienced Stone believes this is now the time for Leeming to step up and prove he can be an established Super League player.
“We’ve got a decent opinion of Kruise,” said Stone, who will welcome back the bulk of his squad for pre-season training on Monday, including his overseas contingent of Hinchcliffe, Sebastine Ikahihifo, Sam Rapira, Tom Symonds and Ukuma Ta’ai.
“If he can keep moving on, then he’ll certainly be in a position to probably play every week and gain some real experience at Super League level.
“Next season could be the making of him. It’s his big chance to go on and have an established Super League career in the hooker position.
“There’s no question he’s got the potential.”
Leeming will obviously be looking for a big pre-season to make sure he fulfils that potential, with Stone having already told his players to brace themselves for several months of demanding physical work under new conditioning chief Steve Walsh.
Most of the 2017 Giants squad will be back on Monday, with the notable exceptions being international quartet Jermaine McGillvary (England), Danny Brough and Ryan Brierley (Scotland) and Oliver Roberts (Ireland).
Also taking part will be new signing Paul Clough, while it’s widely anticipated he could soon be joined by fellow former Bradford Bulls players, half-back Lee Gaskell and back-row forward Dale Ferguson.