Stone tells Brierley to “lie low” ahead of Leigh clash

Huddersfield Giants coach Rick Stone has revealed that he has instructed former Leigh half-back Ryan Brierley to “lie low” ahead of the Giants’ clash with the Centurions this Saturday.

If selected, Brierley will return to the Leigh Sports Village as a player for the first time since departing the Centurions earlier this year when the two sides meet in a huge Qualifiers clash.

And Stone says that he has warned Brierley to stay away from any “banter” flying around, and instead focus on being selected and his own preparation for a game which could go a long way towards deciding Huddersfield’s Super League future.

“I’ve told Ryan to lie a bit low,” Stone told his club’s weekly press conference.

“Obviously he’s good mates with a lot of the boys that he’s played with over the last couple of years and there’s always a little bit of banter going on.

“So I’ve told him to lie low and concentrate on his job, get himself prepared to play. It’s about making sure, regardless of what happens, he’s in the best possible position and the team’s in the best possible position.

“He got squeezed out in a real close decision last week and, whether the cards are going to fall for him, time will tell.

“He’s only a young player who is learning the ropes in Super League. I know he’d love to play this week and I understand that but my job is to pick the best team each week that I think can win the game.

“If he’s part of that, all well and good and, if not I’m sure, he’ll wear that and move on. It’s not an easy decision, but one we’ll put plenty of time and thought into.”

Stone will check on the fitness of prop Eorl Crabtree (rib) and second rower Tom Symonds (calf) after they picked up knocks in the win over London Broncos last Friday but is hopeful that former New Zealand Test front rower Sam Rapira will return after losing his ever-present record.