Group 20 rugby league
THE resurgent DPC Roosters have copped an early-season blow with the departure of representative forward and fan favourite Nick Briggs.
Briggs has left the Point to travel and play rugby league overseas for the remainder of this year, and is set to return to English team Huddersfield Underbank Rangers, where he played before joining his hometown club last year.
"It's a shame on and off the field to lose him, but we were lucky to have him for pre-season," DPC publicity officer Cameron Muir said.
"He's more than just a player - the amount of work he does on the committee has been phenomenal. He helped run our pink day last year.
"If every player in our team put back as much as Nick does, the club would be running very, very well."
In a sign of Briggs' depth of commitment to Darlington Point, he delayed his exit after learning the Roosters had drawn Yenda in the Group 20 opener, setting up a clash with the likes of Josh Curphey and Kyle Charles, who crossed to the Blueheelers in pre-season.
It was a match he didn't want to miss, and after a Chris Latu-inspired DPC sprung a 30-10 upset at Wade Park, Briggs will be glad he didn't.
"He's left us in a good way and he'll be back for next season," Muir said.
"He's going to do a trip around America after that and maybe trying to go back to Europe to play a little bit in France, if he can.
"That's his plan, but he's hoping to be back here in January.
"It's just a bit of fun. He enjoys it over there so he wants to play a few more games and see a bit more of the world."
Briggs' departure takes some of the sting out of DPC's imposing pack, which fired on all cylinders in round one thanks to cornerstones Sam Dalby and new signing Latu.
But the Roosters face a stern test this weekend, with a clash against the in-form Waratah Tigers at Darlington Point on Sunday.