Huddersfield Giants star Eorl Crabtree has admitted that losing England international Brett Ferres to Leeds Rhinos is a significant blow for the Giants, and the veteran prop forward believes that the club needs to strengthen if it is to mount a serious challenge in 2016.
Crabtree sets out his thoughts in the February issue of Rugby League World magazine, in which he writes a monthly column.
“Our captain Danny Brough has been quoted as saying we may be a couple of players short of what we need, and I don’t think he is saying that to try and fool anyone,” writes Crabtree.
“We’ve got some experience coming in with Sam Rapira and Ryan Hinchcliffe from the NRL and Larne Patrick returning, but we’ve lost Jodie Broughton, Brett Ferres, Craig Kopczak, Shaun Lunt and Anthony Mullally.
“We’ve added quality but lost numbers.
“Losing Brett has really screwed us over.
“You can’t just replace someone like him, especially at this time of the year as there’s no one available.”
On the other hand, Crabtree, who helped the Giants to a 26-16 victory over Catalans Dragons on Saturday, does have some positive thoughts about the new season.
“We’ll be hoping for another big season from Jermaine McGillvary after he proved to everyone just how good he is by finally breaking into the England team last year,” he writes.
“I’m convinced if he played for another club like Leeds or Wigan he would have had more international opportunities, because that’s the way it seems to work, but he has earned his position the hard way at a club like ours and he fully deserves every bit of success that comes his way.”