He crafted his impressive reputation as a trailblazing, jet-heeled half-back: and Huddersfield half-back Ryan Brierley will get the chance to “show his worth” in that role over the next fortnight, says coach Rick Stone.
Brierley has predominantly played fullback since joining the club earlier this season, rather than the half-back position he became famous for during his time in the Championship with Leigh Centurions.
But with Danny Brough suspended for two weeks, it gives Stone the opportunity to look at Brierley alongside Jamie Ellis in the halves – and Stone is hopeful that the 24-year-old can be a hit.
Stone said: “We’ll play Ryan in the halves. He’s probably our best option to have there at this stage; we’ve got to check out a couple of blokes like Grixy (Scott Grix) but we’re hopeful we’ll get Joe Wardle back so Jake Connor can play fullback.
“Ryan has got two weeks to show his worth in his preferred position.
“He’s played predominantly fullback this year and it’s a good chance for him; he’s trained there well this week and if we get some half-chances he could well end up being on the end of them.”
Brough was suspended for two games following an incident with Logan Tomkins in last Sunday’s game against Salford, a game the Giants lost to leave them the only Super League side without a win from the opening round of the Qualifiers.
And while Stone conceded it was a fair punishment for the incident in question, he will be trying to fine-tune Brough’s composure in future.
“It probably was a fair sentence. The incident didn’t look great; we went to Red Hall and had a fair hearing in my opinion,” he said.
“They put forward their points and they came up with something which we think is reasonable. He’s only had two suspensions in 14 years of playing so his record is relatively good – but he had another charge this year which took away his ability to have the Early Guilty Plea.
“He needs some work on his composure because he was frustrated. His effort can’t be faulted but it was just one of those things you get caught up in and it’s a spur of the moment thing.”
The return of Joe Wardle from injury is a major boost for Stone – but he is still likely to be without the services of Jermaine McGillvary and Tom Symonds. They, however, could both be fit for next week’s game against Batley.
“They’re getting really close, they’ll get some scans on Friday,” Stone said of the duo.
“With their sort of injuries we’ll err on the side of caution – they’ll definitely be back next week as I don’t think they’ll make it this week, but only just.”