Long Pleased With Walsh

LIKE all Saints fans, Sean Long was pleased to finally see Luke Walsh make his return on Sunday.

And he expects the scrum half to feature more heavily when they host Leeds this Friday.

“The plan was always to give Walshy 25 minutes and allow him to gain confidence,” he said. “He kicked a good drop goal and I’m sure he will improve this week. He showed some good signs and nice touches – obviously he needs a bit of fitness – but we should get a little longer from him this week.

“When I had my injuries it was a case of getting through the game and not doing anything flash or special. We probably won’t see the best of him for a bit but his calming influence on the team is massive.

“We have struggled without half backs for a while and won the Grand Final without one. We’ve been using Jon Wilkin but you could see when he went back to 13 and Walsh in at 7 we had more punch and energy about us.

“I think it’s fair to say Travis Burns has missed him too. Playing with Luke was one of the reasons he came over here. They had a good understanding at Penrith and as soon as Luke got on the pitch on Sunday you could see they began to click.

“In training you can see this combination – it’s much like the one I had with Leon (Pryce) and Tommy (Martyn) back in the day. We will see Travis get better for sure; we just need consistency in training and games.”

It’s first v second this Friday as Saints host Leeds and Long says Saints are likely to run with the same line-up once more.

Matty Dawson will miss out after he damaged his ankle in Sunday’s win.

“Leeds are flying at the moment and have strike all over the field. We need to match them up front and expect the unexpected. We’ve come out of the Huddersfield game with a bit of confidence and will be in front of a big home crowd though – it is a great opportunity to showcase our game.”

Tickets for Friday’s game are now on sale from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.

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