Sunday sees the Knights head to Whitehaven in our Betfred Challenge Cup Round Five tie in Cumbria and, speaking to the media this week, Head Coach James Ford addressed the half-backs in the Knights squad.
With three senior halves in his squad, Ford pointed to the form of the two current incumbents before discussing Brendan O’Hagan’s progress on returning to action.
“First and foremost, Jamie Ellis and Liam Harris are playing really well and, if Brendan was 100% fit and ready to go this week then it would be a tough decision.
“I know what level of player Brendan O’Hagan is but I also know how good Jamie and Liam are and how well they are playing at the minute.
O’Hagan’s sole appearance so far in 2022 came in our Round Two victory over Dewsbury Rams when the Australian half-back crossed for a late try.
“Brendan had a minor calf issue coming off the back of the Dewsbury game and that’s why we brought him off late in that game – to protect him. He had a week out of training to let that settle down and now we’re slowly increasing his load in training to build him up.
“That includes straight line stuff, change of direction stuff and there’s some contact stuff. After that, he’s got to do rugby stuff and I’m sure that anybody who has played rugby league will tell you that is different than just running around cones.
“Brendan is on a programme to get him back ready so, when we do get him back, he not only excites us with his ability and leadership, but he’s there for the duration of the season.
“We’re trying to build some robustness and resilience into him. It doesn’t mean that he’s injury prone, it means that I’m not selecting him until he is ready, so if anybody has a problem with that then it should be aimed at me rather than Brendan.”