LARNE PATRICK is in pole position to take Keith Mason’s prop spot for Friday’s Super League trip to Hull FC.
With Mason ruled out for at least a month with a torn pectoral muscle, the Giants are already struggling in the front row.
In the absence of Mason – he was injured with his second tackle against Bradford – fellow front-rowers Eorl Crabtree, Darrell Griffin and Andy Raleigh rose to the challenge superbly to help Huddersfield win the pack battle.
But head coach Nathan Brown knows the trio can’t be expected to repeat that feat at the KC Stadium, and is looking towards the 21-year-old Patrick to help lighten their load.
“Larne has to be a candidate at this stage,” admitted Brown.
“In the order of front-rowers in our squad, he’s the next name up, so it automatically follows he’s now in the reckoning.
“But I’m sure Martin Aspinwall might have something to say about that. Aspy was 18th man against Bradford, and I know how much he’s busting a gut to get out there and have a go.
“Both Aspy and Larne played well in the trial game at Castleford, and a lot will depend on how they train over the next few days as to which way I go.”
Brown has a great deal of sympathy for his injured front-rower.
“Keith had a great year last year and, having recovered from his hernia operation and then his calf strain, he was determined to start this season strongly,” added Brown.
“The injury isn’t just disappointing for Keith, but for the rest of us, too.
“The only consolation is that we’ll hopefully get him back in about a month and he’ll be keener than ever to get straight back into it.”
Andy Raleigh will appear before the RFL disciplinary committee tonight charged with late contact on Matt Orford in the game against Bradford.