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O'Brien back in Wolves contention

28th of August 2013
O'Brien back in Wolves contention

Gareth O'Brien could line up for Warrington Wolves against St Helens this week, fresh from his loan at Langtree Park.

Gareth O'Brien could line up for Warrington Wolves against St Helens this week, fresh from his loan at Langtree Park.

The 21-year-old is now back with his parent club after a two-and-a-half month stint with Saints in which he impressed as a playmaker and goalkicker.

During his time away O'Brien was also concussed in heavy challenges from Wigan Warriors` Scott Taylor and Catalan Dragons' Zeb Taia in successive games.

The second of those led to O'Brien being ruled out of Saints' most recent game against Wakefield Trinity Wildcats a fortnight ago and, as he was precluded from facing the Wolves, Warrington decided to recall him.

Wolves coach Tony Smith said: "He wouldn't have been playing against us this week anyway and then we have only got one weekend before the finals.

"He was always going to come back to us for the finals series, so it wasn't worth him staying for just one more game before they would have to change their combinations.

"He is in our 19, but whether he makes the 17 we will determine over the next 24 hours."

O'Brien had made just two league appearances for the Wolves prior to his move but proved an excellent short-term solution to Saints' half-back problems in seven games for Nathan Brown's men.

Smith said: "It was really good for him and good for us in terms of developing him and really good for Saints. He did a job they required at that point.

"But they have got a lot of players returning back from injury now and are in a better state than they have been at stages this year.

"It was good all round. I think it was a win-win-win situation."

In terms of his fitness after the two big knocks, Smith has no concerns.

He said: "He had a couple of heavy contacts but he is over those and ready to go again."

One player who will not feature on Friday is full-back Brett Hodgson, who broke his nose in a high tackle from Hep Cahill in Warrington's loss to Widnes a fortnight ago.

Smith said: "He took quite a concussion and he hasn't passed his head tests yet.

"He saw consultants and hasn't passed and no follow-ups were required but he is just not quite right.

"We'll just give him an extra week and hopefully we will have him back against Catalan."

Veteran half-back Lee Briers and forward Adrian Morley and Garreth Carvell are all fit to return.

Centre Ryan Atkins is targeting next week's trip to Catalan for his return from an ankle problem but half-back Richie Myler remains sidelined with a knee complaint.

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