Ratchford likely to miss season start

Warrington utility Stefan Ratchford is pushing to be fit for the start of the 2016 season as he recovers from a shoulder injury.

Ratchford was missing from the Wolves’ squad as they demolished Widnes 40-0 in a festive friendly on December 27.

Warrington coach Tony Smith revealed that the utility is unlikely to be ready for the Wire’s first game of the season, away at Leeds on February 4.

“Stefan will be touch and go for the start of the season,” Smith said.

“He’s had a little tidy up in his shoulder.

“He’ll be a little while but he’ll be touch and go whether he starts the first game, but he’ll be well on track by then.”

The 27-year old, who can play at fullback, in the centres and in the halves, has scored 25 tries in his 78 appearances with the Wolves.

Ratchford is expected to fill in at number 1 and number 7 in Super League XXI with Kurt Gidley also rotating between fullback and stand-off.

Warrington have a number of options at the back and in the halves with Matty Russell, Chris Sandow and Declan Patton.

Gidley was impressive against Widnes, kicking five from five with the point.

“Stefan either play fullback or in the halves to start with, but he can pay centre,” Smith said.

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