EORL CRABTREE is hoping to fire England to Four Nations glory tonight before embarking on a well-earned break.
The 27-year-old Giants prop will line up against Australia in the Elland Road final (7.30) in what will be the last game of a highly successful season for the former Underbank and Huddersfield YMCA junior.
While his Giants teammates start official pre-season training on Monday, the 27-year-old year prop will finally take a break until early December.
And on the back of playing 27 times for Huddersfield, including this season’s Carnegie Challenge Cup final against Warrington at Wembley, and making four appearances for England, Crabtree admits he’s desperate for a rest.
“My body’s really sore, and I can’t wait for a rest,” said Crabtree, who did have a mini break a month ago recovering from minor knee surgery.
“I suffered damage to my right wrist during the season and that’s causing me most of the trouble, particularly as that’s my preferred side to offload.
“Obviously, I’m prepared to put up with the soreness for one more night tonight, but I’m then looking forward to taking a bit of a break and resting up.
“I don’t know exactly when I’ll return to pre-season training yet. I’m just concentrating on facing the Aussies first and then taking things from there.
“But I have spoken to Nathan (Brown) this week and it’s going to be a case of seeing how I feel in a couple of weeks time and then making a firm decision then.
“I obviously want to return as fit and as fresh as possible, and hopefully with my confidence higher than ever after we’ve beaten Australia in the final!”
Crabtree and his England teammates are expected to receive the backing of around 30,000 for tonight’s clash.
Although the upper tier at Elland Road is not being used, Rugby Football League chiefs are confident there will be a sell-out crowd, with fewer than 2,000 tickets left unsold yesterday lunchtime.
Eorl can ‘rain’ for England – Nathan Brown’s prediction on Pages 42 & 43.