Crabtree encouraged by rise of English props


Huddersfield prop Eorl Crabtree is feeling optimistic about the state of English-front row play at the moment.

With talented props coming through into Super League teams at the moment, and a real blossoming of English front row quality at international level, Crabtree is pleased with the strength on show in his position.

“I think we’d been lacking that for quite some time, to be honest,” he told Love Rugby League.

“It’s good to see the likes of Alex Walmsley progressing, I’ve been so impressed with him.

“He’s massive. You can tell he works so hard.

“The Burgess boys have improved year on year by going away.

“I think that’s the best thing they could have done, gone way to learn their trade somewhere else and get the recognition they deserve.

“It’s good to see more props coming through.”

Crabtree was also encouraged by how Tom Burgess stepped up to fill the void left in the England team by his brother’s departure to rugby union last year.

“Probably the best thing that happened to Tom Burgess was Sam going away to Bath,” he said.

“He’s now established himself, because he had that opportunity [for England], and that’s absolutely huge for him.

“I’m so happy for him.”

Nevertheless, despite his optimism, Crabtree also has some words of caution for the rising generation of props, with the number of interchanges set to be cut soon.

“The game’s changing though,” he added.

“For these big guys coming through it’s going to get a lot tougher if the subs go down.”