THE LONG-TERM injury suffered by Leeds Rhinos winger Tom Briscoe could give his brother Luke an extended run at Betfred Super League level.
Tom Briscoe, who is ever-present in Super League this year, suffered anterior cruciate ligament (acl) damage during Rhinos 44-0 win at Huddersfield Giants last Friday.
The length of his lay-off will be confirmed after he has seen a specialist, but the former England man will not play again this year and could miss the start of next season.
Luke Briscoe has been playing for Featherstone Rovers on dual-registration but, following his brother’s injury, Leeds asked for him not to be included in their team for the Championship fixture at Dewsbury Rams two days ago.
Rhinos also have an injury doubt over centre Konrad Hurrell who rolled an ankle against Huddersfield and is in a protective boot.
“He has got to wait for the swelling to go down and do a bit of re-hab’ around it,” Rhinos’ interim-coach Richard Agar said of Tom Briscoe’s knee damage which is the third acl suffered by a Leeds player in two seasons, following Kallum Watkins and Ryan Hall last year.
“He will see a specialist in a couple of weeks and sort out an operation.
“It is a real blow for us, we are all upset for Tommy.
“I have coached him before, at Hull, and have a good relationship with him, but while I’ve been here I think his commitment and the quality of his performances have been second to none – and his determination to help turn things around.
“He is a fairly quiet bloke by nature and, at times, can maybe fly under the radar a bit, but he has shown terrific leadership in and around the squad during this period.
“It is a major blow for us and for Tom and we really feel for him.”
Luke Briscoe has played only one league game for Rhinos this year, scoring a try in the defeat at St Helens in June.
Of his omission from Rovers’ side at Dewsbury, Agar said: “With Tommy going down we pulled Luke [out] as a precaution.
“We have got the option to play Luke there, or move Liam Sutcliffe to the centre and Harry Newman to the wing.
“We will decide later, we don’t know our team yet.
“We didn’t want Luke to play on Sunday and miss a couple of days’ training while he’s recovering or put himself at risk of injury.
“We just thought it was the sensible option to withdraw him from Featherstone’s game and keep him fresh for this week.”
Hurrell is another concern, but Agar said he will be included in Rhinos’ initial 19-man squad for this week’s visit of Catalans Dragons.
“Konny was unable to train [today] but we are confident he will be in with a shout for Friday,” Agar confirmed.
“The ankle’s a bit swollen, but there’s no major damage in there. We just need that to settle down a bit.”
Agar added: “Rob Lui picked up a bit of a hip injury, but he’s good.
“We just recovered him and he will train [tomorrow, Tuesday].”