AFTER TAKING his brother Tom’s place on Leeds Rhinos’ right wing, Luke Briscoe has an opportunity to prove his Super League class.
Briscoe has been waiting all year for a sustained run at the elite level and got it after his brother suffered a season-ending anterior cruciate knee ligament injury in Leeds’ big win at Huddersfield Giants on August 2.
Signed by Rhinos last year, Luke has spent most of 2019 on dual-registration with his previous club, Featherstone Rovers, scoring nine tries in 15 games.
He bagged a brace when Rhinos crushed League One side Workington Town in the Coral Challenge Cup in April and also touched down in his only other Leeds appearance before last week, a defeat at St Helens in June.
Rhinos’ management recalled him from Rovers the day after his brother’s injury and – despite some war wounds including a gash to his head – he crossed for the final try in last Friday’s 48-8 thrashing of Catalans Dragons.
That took his tally to nine in 23 senior appearances since 2014. Tom Briscoe is due to undergo surgery next week and will be sidelined for around nine months and Luke admitted: “It’s not the circumstances I wanted, but it is good to be back out there playing for Leeds and to be back at Headingley.
“Tom was going well before the injury happened so I have to step up and carry on from where he was and go on from there.”
Tom was at last Friday’s game and Luke added: “Obviously he was upset when he first did it, but I think he has come to terms with it now.
“He will work on it once he’s had his op’ and come back bigger and stronger.”
The win against Catalans came despite Brad Singleton being sent off early in the second half and Briscoe said: “It went well.
“We had a good first 30 minutes, then just a sloppy 10 before half-time.
“We came back out and had a good 40 and the scoreboard showed that.
“We have been on a path for the last 10 weeks or so and, as you can see from the results, it has just got better and better.”
Of his own performance, he said: “I was happy.
“As a back, you just have to make your carries.
“You don’t do much defence, but my carries were good and it is always good to get over for a try.
“It was a good effort from the boys in the middle and I was just on the end of it.”
Rhinos are in a better place now than when Briscoe made his previous appearance two months ago, having scored 92 points and conceded only eight in their past two games.
They are up to eighth in the Betfred Super League table and a win at home over Saints on Thursday evening would virtually guarantee their top-flight status for next year.
“We will just take it week by week,” stressed the winger who is in his third spell at Leeds after originally joining them from Hull’s academy.
“We just want to build [on the Catalans game].
“We’ll work on Saints this week and, hopefully, get the result then as well.”