“You’re basically a piece of meat in the butcher’s so you get swapped around. Stuff happens.”
Danny Brough is being typically blunt. The veteran scrum-half has made a habit of it over his decorated career; just ask any Super League referee who may have had an exchange of words with the colourful and often controversial former Scotland captain.
I didn’t (see it coming) but it’s a business at the end of the day and Huddersfield run their ship while Wakefield run their’s. You’re basically a piece of meat in the butcher’s so you get swapped around. Stuff happens.Danny Brough
In this instance, the prolific Brough is discussing the surprise move which saw him re-join Wakefield Trinity from Huddersfield Giants in November.
Few people envisaged it happening given the player was under contract at Giants for 2019 and, moreover, had been an integral part of their renaissance in the second half of last season following Australian head coach Simon Woolford’s appointment.
Brough, of course, had played approaching 250 games for the club since joining from Trinity in 2010, breaking all sorts of records with his kicking and captaining them to the 2013 League Leaders’ Shield, the first Huddersfield team to finish top in 82 years.
He won Man of Steel, earning legendary status and, even now at the age of 35, remains one of Super League’s greatest creative playmakers.
“It was a bit of a shock really,” Brough told The Yorkshire Post.
“Obviously, I can’t go too much in to it and I don’t want to really.
“I heard it one day and asked Huddersfield what the crack was.
“They said ‘yes, if there’s an opportunity for you to go, you can go.’ That’s how it came about and that’s how I went.
“I didn’t (see it coming) but it’s a business at the end of the day and Huddersfield run their ship while Wakefield run their’s. You’re basically a piece of meat in the butcher’s so you get swapped around. Stuff happens.
“And I am happy to be here (Wakefield). I didnt get chance to say ‘goodbye’ (at Giants) but we play them soon so I’ll give them a clap and a cheer from there.”
Wakefield actually host Huddersfield in a friendly on Tuesday night and Trinity fans certainly are pleased to see Brough return.
Clearly, they are excited by the prospect of all his experience, guile and that stellar kicking game dovetailing with Jacob Miller’s own talents at No 6.
They linked in last week’s friendly against Hull FC and the early noises are it could be a partnership that helps Trinity – fifith in each of the last two years – deliver a play-offs place.
Brough has linked up once more with Chris Chester, the Trinity head coach who was his team-mate when Hull FC famously stunned Leeds Rhinos in the 2005 Challenge Cup final.
It is something he did not think would happen. He said: “When Chezzy was coaching Hull KR we used to chat a bit but not about me signing. It was just in general about games.
“We’ve always kept a good relationship. I never thought we’d reunite but as soon as I got the opportunity I thought why not, let’s get it going, see if I can do anything different.”
Chester hopes Brough can improve their kicking game and help make the difference in those close matches that, so often last term, his side just missed out on.
But has Brough – never short of a quip – found himself giving his former team-mate any lip, forgeting the new relationship?
He said: “No, you respect your coach. You have to understand what they want to do and what we want to achieve. You have to knuckle down and listen to what they say, play by the rules, do what you’re told and everyone seems to do that here which is good.”
Brough and Miller have the afternoon off today but Wakefield have still named plenty of first-team regulars for the trip to Newcastle Thunder including England winger Tom Johnstone, overseas second-rows Pauli Pauli and Justin Horo plus new signing Ben Reynolds. It is the West Yorkshire club’s penultimate friendly before their Super League opener at newly-promoted London Broncos a fortnight tomorrow.
Dewsbury-born Brough – who signed a two-year deal – reports he feels fit and ready for the latest chapter in his career.
“Obviously you get your niggles here and there but I’ve done all pre-season, worked as hard as I can, tried my best and I do feel ready while all the boys have dug in,” he added. “Hopefully we can get the rewards in the season. It’d be good to start well and win a few of your first five or six games but it is a long process this year with no Middle Eights; you don’t have to fire in the first 23 rounds to make sure you’re safe.”
Hull KR host Toronto Wolfpack today for Shaun Lunt’s testimonial game although the former England hooker is unable to play as he continues his recovery from the illness that hit him towards the end of last season.