AFTER avoiding one false-start, England winger Tom Briscoe says he is now definitely ready to make his long-awaited comeback for Leeds Rhinos.
He was originally scheduled to return to action at former club Hull FC last Friday after a shoulder injury that has sidelined him since March 28.
However, Briscoe was eventually not considered as he still had doubts over his fitness.
But after now being back in full training, the 26-year-old is being readied to line up against Super League leaders Wigan Warriors at Headingley.
Briscoe should be named in today’s 19-man squad barring any late problems and admitted: “Everything I’ve needed to do I’ve done so far.
“I’ve been in full training as of this week and I suppose it’ll be down to selection if picked.”
Having witnessed the late drama as his team-mates came from behind to win 20-15 at leaders Hull last week, he knows it would be a real fillip to be able to quickly add the scalp of new frontrunners Wigan.
Briscoe said: “Last Friday was massive in terms of where we’ve been and especially with where we want to be.
“We know we’re in the Middle Eights but we still want more home games here at Headingley when it comes to that stage.
“So, our focus now is to finish ninth and we can still do that.
“If we could, it would go a long way to giving us confidence leading to the Qualifiers.
“We know it’ll be tough against Wigan. It’s usually a top of the table clash, two very good teams who have achieved lots.
“It’s always entertaining and one I suppose all fans will look forward to. Over the years we’ve had some great battles.”
Leeds did Wigan a favour by beating Hull as it allowed them to take top spot following their own dramatic victory over Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
Down to 12-men after captain Sean O’Loughlin’s red card for a high tackle on Chris Annakin, Warriors left it late before eventually winning 22-18 following Lewis Tierney’s 79th minute try.
Wigan have made a habit of doing that this year, saving a result when their form has been far from brilliant.
“Good teams always do,” added Briscoe. “You’ll find, in the close games, you seem to win. It was the same for us last year.
“It’s very deflating to be on the other end of that – to be so close and lose by a couple of points.
“Unfortunately this year we haven’t been able to see some of those types of games out although we did at Hull.
“That will have given us confidence but we know there’s loads of improvement needed to be where we want to be and there’s no better game than Wigan at home to carry on progressing.”
Meanwhile, Briscoe would love to meet hometown club Featherstone Rovers in the Qualifiers. They kept their hopes alive with Sunday’s stunning 34-6 win at Batley.
“It’d be great,” added the player, who started out on Rovers’ scholarship.
“There’s a couple of other guys here who have played at Fev. It’d be great not only for me to play my hometown but to see Featherstone Rovers challenging up there trying to get into Super League is great for the town.”