Giants call for Mason as Crabtree is given a breather

Huddersfield's Eorl Crabtree is rested for Friday night's clash with Hull FC.' Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.
Huddersfield's Eorl Crabtree is rested for Friday night's clash with Hull FC.' Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.
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FORMER England prop Eorl Crabtree will miss his first game of the season when Huddersfield Giants face Hull FC at the KC Stadium tomorrow.

Nathan Mason, who turned 22 earlier this month, will make only his third Super League appearance as a replacement for Crabtree, who is being rested.

“Eorl has got a few bumps and bruises,” said Giants assistant coach Kieron Purtill.

“Nathan is ready to go. He did nothing wrong the last time he played and deserves another chance.”

Veteran stand-off Leon Pryce is set to end a two-month lay-off with shoulder damage as Hull’s injury crisis eases.

Kirk Yeaman, Jordan Thompson and Josh Bowden are also set to return for the Black and Whites, who were without 12 senior players for last Friday’s 30-24 defeat at Wigan.

Teenage prop Masi Matongo keeps his place in coach Lee Radford’s 19-man squad after making his debut against the Warriors but full-back Jamie Shaul and winger Tom Lineham have joined the club’s injury list.

Gareth Widdop will be fit for England’s Test series against New Zealand and expects his St George Illawarra team-mate Mike Cooper to join him in the squad.

Widdop defied a thigh injury to play for the Dragons in their elimination play-off tie against Canterbury Bulldogs, although he could not prevent them going down to an extra-time sudden-death 11-10 defeat.

The Halifax-born stand-off, who has started the last four matches for England at No 6, has six weeks to recover from the injury before the opening autumn international against France at Leigh on October 24.

England coach Steve McNamara spoke with Widdop after Saturday’s game and said the player will be “fine” for the forthcoming internationals.

Former Melbourne player Widdop is setting his sights on facing the Kiwis in a three-match series starting on November 1 and says prop Cooper, who joined the Sydney club from Warrington two years ago, deserves to be called up alongside him.