Tom Briscoe value to Leeds Rhinos justified return - John Kear

Tom Briscoe
Leeds Rhinos winger Tom Briscoe has seven tries in six Super League games in 2015

England winger Tom Briscoe's value to Leeds Rhinos justified his first-team return after a shoulder injury, says Wales and Batley coach John Kear.

Briscoe, 25, has seven tries in six games, including a hat-trick against Catalans on his comeback on Sunday.

Ash Handley had been Briscoe's deputy, scoring 12 tries in 17 games.

"Handley's been superb and is a star of the future, but Briscoe can finish for fun and create tries," Kear told BBC Super League Show.

"When the ball is kicked into Leeds's 20 metres, he, Zak Hardaker and Ryan Hall get the team going forward. He's a very important part of the Leeds team."

Having scored five tries in Leeds' Boxing Day friendly against Wakefield, 19-year-old Handley was thrust into the Rhinos' side by head coach Brian McDermott for the home win against Wigan in March, which he marked with a try.

Mitch Garbutt
Mitch Garbutt arrived at Leeds in mid-season from NRL side Brisbane Broncos

With Friday's Challenge Cup semi-final with St Helens next up, there is competition for places at Headingley and nowhere more so than in the front row.

Veterans Jamie Peacock and Kylie Leuluai, Australian imports Adam Cuthbertson and Mitch Garbutt plus young Cumbrian talent Brad Singleton are all fighting for a place.

Former Brisbane Broncos prop Garbutt came off the interchange bench in Sunday's win against the Dragons to score his first try and stake his claim for a spot.

"He's got every chance," Kear added. "Not only did he cross for a try by pushing up off the Leeds shape, but he also did plenty of good work.

"He carted the ball up, got quick play-the-balls and did a lot of tough defence in that middle channel. He put his hand up for Friday."

Follow Super League and The Qualifiers on the BBC Sport website and see tries from the top two Super 8s groups each week on the Super League Show.

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