With Craig Huby leaving for Wakefield, is Daniel Smith the answer to replacing him at the prop position?
As Huddesfield Giants’ fans are well aware, allowing Craig Huby to move to Wakefield has left a major shortage at the prop position. There was already uncertainty, after Eorl Crabtree’s retirement and Josh Johnson’s decision to reject a new deal.
The question is, even with two months until the start of the new season, where do the Giants go from here? Ironically, the answer could be found in someone who previously played for Huby’s new team.
Daniel Smith came to Hudderfield from the Wildcats in July 2015, after signing a contract for four and a half years. He made nine appearances during his first season with the Giants, which including a try against his former club.
After completing his inaugural pre-season with the Claret and Gold, Smith was looking forward to making an impact in his first full year with the team. Unfortunately, fate had other ideas, as he suffered a season-ending injury in Round 4 of the 2016 season.
Now, the Pontefract, West Yorkshire native is healthy and raring to go. He recently spoke to Giantsrl.com about his progress, now that he is back in full training.
Smith said: “It’s been good for me to get back into the swing of things with training. It’s been tough but I suppose all pre-season training is, so it’s something that I’m enjoying.
“Mentally and physically it’s been good to be back. It’s good to get some running back into my foot and obviously being around the lads all the time is a lot better than being on your own.”
Unsurprisingly, suffering an injury so early on in the 2016 season was frustrating. However, the 23-year has taken a mature and positive approach to what happened.
Smith said: “I was hoping last year was going to be a big one for me, but unfortunately I got the injury early on in the season. (However), it’s probably made me a better and stronger person because of it.”
The former member of the Leeds Rhinos’ academy suffered his foot injury (ironically against the Rhinos), before the arrival of Rick Stone. As such, he will be motivated to impress his new head coach.
Smith said: “It’s a big year for me next season with Rick coming in, a new coach, so everyone is on a fresh start really and it’s something I’m looking forward to. You can train as much as you want, but you ultimately just want to play on the weekend so that is something I can’t wait for.”
Smith may or may not be the solution at the prop position for the Giants. However, if his attitude and dedication are anything to go by, he has an excellent chance.
What’s your take in respect of Smith? Do you believe he has what it takes to step in and play full-time at the prop position, or do the Giants need to consider other options? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.