Lee Radford has urged Jake Connor to prove he is worthy of filling the void left by Albert Kelly in Friday’s trip to Leeds (Leeds 8/13, Draw 22/1, Hull 11/8 – match betting).
The Australian picked up a calf injury during last Friday’s defeat at St Helens and looked set for a spell on the sidelines due to the alarming nature in which he pulled up.
However, Kelly has been making encouraging progress over the last few days and there was a suggestion he could be fit for the trip down the M62.
Radford has now confirmed he will now not be risked for the Betfred Super League clash with the Rhinos, where his side will be hoping to end a run of six straight defeats against Brian McDermott’s men.
Instead it will be Connor who partners Marc Sneyd in the halves for the Airlie Birds (11/2 Grand Final winner) and the coach is clearly looking for something special from the 22-year-old.
Despite some moments of magic since joining from Huddersfield during the off-season, Connor has failed to impose himself, with his versatility often seeing him used as a utility man off the bench.
Stand-off seems to be his best role though and with Kelly out for the trip to Headingley, Radford has urged the youngster to prove his worth to the side.
“We aren’t going to risk it (Kelly’s injury), we’ll be going with Jake,” said Radford. “With a big game coming up in a fortnight’s time it’s probably not worth the gamble.
“It’s a heck of a replacement if he (Connor) performs. He’s been really sporadic this season. What he’s done well has all been quality, but I’d like a bit more quantity.”