Former team-mate Eorl Crabtree says Leroy Cudjoe hasn’t had the recognition he deserves after making his 300th appearance for hometown club Huddersfield Giants.
The 33-year-old centre, who represented England at the 2013 World Cup, scored a try and captained the side as the Giants chalked up a 40-26 Super League victory in his milestone match.
Cudjoe came through Huddersfield’s Academy system and made his first-team debut in 2008. He has returned to regular action this year after being troubled by knee injuries. His current contract expires at the end of the year and the Giants haven’t yet indicated whether they will be offering him a new deal for next season.
Whether or not that happens, Crabtree has no doubt about the status within the club of his former team-mate.
“Leroy is a great player, but even more importantly, a great bloke who I’m proud to call a friend,” said Crabtree, 38, who retired in 2016 and is now a club ambassador.
“Within the game he’s well respected, as he should be, but I also think that had he played for a higher-profile club, he’d have had more recognition for playing 300 times.
“It’s a fantastic achievement in any sport, but when you think of the physical demands, it’s even more so in Rugby League.
“That he is still going strong is testament not just to his talent, but the way he has approached his career and remained so dedicated.
“It’s not just about training, it’s about doing things properly 24/7, and Leroy has shown amazing commitment to the game and the club.
“Beyond that, he’s a real family man who also coaches out in the community and does a lot to promote the game.”
Tonight the Giants face a trip to Castleford Tigers, where they will be without the suspended Josh Jones and a host of injured players. Coach Ian Watson has named a 19-man squad.
Giants squad: 1 Ashton Golding, 2 Jermaine McGillvary, 3 Jake Wardle, 8 Luke Yates, 18 Chris McQueen, 19 James Cunningham, 20 Oliver Wilson, 21 Leroy Cudjoe, 23 Oliver Russell, 24 Louis Senior, 25 Owen Trout, 26 Sam Hewitt, 27 Sam Wood, 31 Olly Ashall-Bott, 32 Will Pryce, 33 Robson Stevens, 34 Nathaniel Peteru, 35 Nathan Peats, 38 George Roby.
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