Paterson: Facing Fev would be a huge test

HALIFAX utility back Lee Paterson has said he is ready to play in Sunday’s Northern Rail Cup showdown with Championship big guns Featherstone – but believes it would be a “big ask” to return to action against Daryl Powell’s back-to-back Grand Finalists.

Paterson only returned from six months on the sidelines following a knee reconstruction with a 70-minute stint against Rovers’ second-string in an under 23s friendly at Post Office Road last Friday.

The former Warrington junior emerged unscathed and the odds on a rapid elevation to boss Karl Harrison’s injury-ravaged first team squad shortened on Sunday afternoon when back rower Iain Morrison hobbled out of the 38-6 win over Rochdale with a knee injury, the full extent of which should be known later today.

“I think it would be a big ask to go back in against Featherstone,” said Paterson.

“If Karl asked me to play, I’d jump at it, but to go straight back into a game like that, where the winners are pretty much sure to finish top of the group, would be tough.

“I think London Skolars on Sunday week is more realistic for my first game at that level.

“In the end though, it’s Karl’s choice and I’ll do what he tells me to.

“My knee was a bit tender Friday night when I got home, but I think that was as much down to the pitch, which was pretty heavy, and the drive home as actually playing on it.

“After 70 minutes it was aching a bit so I came off, but it was a solid start.

“I was very nervous before the game, but once I was out there I started thinking about the game and just got on with it.

“The mental hurdle is a massive one to clear, I was waiting for the first knock on it but it got a whack after about 10 minutes and after that I was fine.”

Ironically, Paterson’s return to fitness coincided with the loss of close-season recruit Mick Nanyn with an almost identical injury.

“I spoke to Mick when he got the news and he seems okay,” said Paterson.

“If he needs any help, with advice or his rehab, then I’ll do whatever I can for him.

“It’s the same op as I had, so it’s six months minimum.

“You have to do everything they tell you to, push yourself as far as you think you can.

“If he comes back this season, it will be right at the end, but it’s still do-able.”

HALIFAX are running coach travel to London Skolars for next weekend’s final NRC group game, providing there is sufficient interest.

The cost will be £25 for adults and £18 for juniors and will leave the Shay at 9am.

To book, contact Neil Arber on 077144 88080.

Super League newcomers Widnes Vikings have suffered a major blow with the loss of Australian half-back Anthony Watts for at least six months with a knee injury.

The 25-year-old former Sydney Roosters player tore his right anterior cruciate ligament after going on as substitute to make his Super League debut in Sunday’s 38-18 home defeat by Salford.

Watts was forced to miss the Vikings’ opening two matches after being injured in a pre-season friendly against St Helens.

He is the second Widnes player to be ruled out for six months after forward Ben Kavanagh ruptured an Achilles tendon against the Reds.