LARNE PATRICK is learning to play more minutes.
The 24-year-old forward has gained a reputation as a player capable of producing blockbusting short spells, with his exceptional pace and power proving a lethal combination.
But head coach Paul Anderson is keen to turn him into a prop forward capable of contributing longer – which he is sure can be achieved.
“Our front-row forwards have a lot of qualities, and one of those is the amount of time they can play,” said Anderson.
“It’s something the likes of Eorl Crabtree, Stuart Fielden and Craig Kopczak can do, and it’s something Larne is learning to do.
“Rotating the forwards worked well against Widnes the other day, and we’ll be hoping it can prove just as successful throughout the season.
“We’ve got a set of forwards who are strong and capable of dominating the opposition, like they did in that second half.
“Knowing they can also play big minutes is a big bonus.”
As well as the four front-rowers singled out, Anderson is also encouraged by the way fellow prop Anthony Mullally is settling in.
At the age of 21, the new signing from Widnes Vikings is the least experienced of the Giants’ senior props.
But the John Smith’s Stadium chief is delighted with the progress he’s making.
“Anthony is player who was on my personal radar for a quite a while, so I was really pleased when he chose to come to us,” said Anderson.
“And as a result of working really hard during pre-season training, he’s progressing very well.
“The year he spent at Brisbane Broncos – in 2011 – did him a lot of good and he started last season really strongly at Widnes.
“I had my eye on him because he’s big, strong, aggressive and British, which fits into what we’re trying to do here.
“He’s got an awful lot of ability and he’s going to be a good – and big! – fit for us in the future.
“At the moment, there are one or two players in front of him in his position, so his first challenge is to get ahead of them.
“But these are the challenges that should get the best out of everyone, and Anthony is certainly no exception.”