AFTER HELPING partner club Hunslet Hawks to a Grand Final win and promotion, Luke Briscoe’s next target is prove himself with Leeds Rhinos.
Briscoe, 20, joined Hawks on loan two months ago and started at loose-forward in the golden-point, extra-time win over Oldham in the Kingstone Press Championship One title-decider three days ago.
The former England academy ace made his debut for three different clubs in 2014, but has now set his sights on having a big finish to his current four-year contract at Leeds.
“I have got another year left,” confirmed the ex-Featherstone Lions product, who was signed by Leeds from Hull in September, 2012.
“I am not sure what the plan is yet, but hopefully it’ll be to crack into the first team and play regularly.
“I am going to enjoy this (the Grand Final win) with the lads, then I’ll be back in at Leeds in a month’s time for pre-season and hopefully I can crack on next year.”
Briscoe – who can play anywhere in the backs, plus hooker and loose-forward – began the season on loan at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, returned to Leeds and then moved on to Hunslet.
“I’ve been at a few clubs already,” admitted Briscoe, who had not played a senior game before the start of this year. I played two at Wakefield, three at Leeds and then finished off at Hunslet.
“I have been playing here and that’s what I needed to do.
“I needed to get the game time, I’ve cracked on and it’s been good to get to a final.
“It’s great for Hunslet to get to a final and to win it was even more special, especially at Headingley.”
Briscoe – a younger brother of Leeds winger Tom – said the Grand Final victory, which earned Hawks a place in the Championship next year, made his rollercoaster season worthwhile.
It was 16-16 at the end of normal time, but Hunslet stand-off Thomas Coyle capped a man of the match performance with the winning drop goal six minutes into sudden-death.
Briscoe reflected: “It was very good at the end.
“It was a tough few minutes after that 80-minute performance, but we got there in the end.
“We felt confident all the way through, but Oldham didn’t drop off and it was a good battle – but we managed to get the final point.
“Winning a Grand Final is good and it is something I will hold with me for the rest of my life.
“It was good to win it with the lads.
“My main aim was to come here and get some games and I’ve done that, we’ve got to a Grand Final and we’ve won it, so it’s really good.”
Hunslet – who were relegated a year ago – face a testing campaign in 2014 against teams including relegated Super League duo Bradford Bulls and London Broncos and Championship Grand Final winners Leigh Centurions.
“It is a tough division, but I think the lads will build on what they’ve done this season and have a good year next year,” Briscoe predicted.
Meanwhile, Hawks veteran David March is considering his future after captaining their Grand Final-winning side.
March, 35, began his career with Wakefield Trinity in 1997 and had a two-year stint at York City Knights before joining Hunslet in 2010.
He admitted he is finding it “tough” to play for a full 80 minutes, but is tempted by the prospect of another crack at the Championship.
“It will be tough in that league, but if you want to be the best you have to play against the best,” he said. “The Championship is where we want to be.”