I’Anson out of season opener

Chaz I’Anson is out of Swinton’s opening Championship clash against Workington at Leigh Sports Village on Sunday.

The former Hull KR and Widnes stand-off has broken his thumb and could face another three weeks on the sidelines.

It’s a big blow as I’Anson is one of the more experienced players in a young Lions side.

“He did it a few weeks ago against North Wales but only recently discovered the extent of the damage,” said coach McCormack.

“Chaz is an important player for us so it’s a blow but we have a strong squad now and we will deal with it.”

Darren Hawkyard is expected to continue his return from injury after featuring in the friendly defeat to Leigh last week.

The Lions back row forward is fit again after rehab on a long term hamstring problem.

Swinton will have 12 new signings in a 23-man squad.

McCormack is relishing the prospect of getting straight into Championship action following the revamp of the Northern Rail Cup, formerly the curtain-raiser to the season.

“The Northern Rail Cup is very important but it only really sparked up if you got through to the final stages,” he said.

“But it’s straight into it now. It’s down to business and there are never any easy games in this competition.

“There is no settling in period where you can get a few games under your belts and work on a few combinations.

“It’s straight into the firing line and that makes it even more exciting.”

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