Warrington recall Championship star as young half-back suffers fresh injury

Josh McAllister
Riley Dean, SW Pix

Picture by John Clifton/SWpix.com

Warrington boss Daryl Powell says he has recalled half-back Riley Dean ahead of Friday’s Super League clash with Leigh.

Dean, 21, joined Featherstone on a season-long loan for the 2023 season, and has previously been recalled once by Powell earlier this season, but did not feature.

However, after losing starting playmaker Josh Drinkwater to a one-match ban, Dean has entered Powell’s potential plans to feature against the Leopards at the Leigh Sports Village.

The youngster has impressed in the Championship under Sean Long, scoring five tries in 11 appearances so far in 2023. 

Drinkwater, 30, will miss the clash after receiving a Grade C dangerous contact charge against Catalans in the Challenge Cup. 

Riley Dean recalled by Warrington boss

“We’ve got a few options, obviously Riley Dean is an option,” Powell said on losing Drinkwater. 

“Pete Mata’utia is an option and Stef [Ratchford], they’ve all played half before. 

“I just need to make a call on that. Obviously we’re disappointed with Drinkwater getting a ban, but it is what it is. We’ve had a couple of them through the years and every team has to deal with them.

“We’ve recalled Riley. I don’t think we really had any option with that happening to us. I’ll make a call on whether he plays or not.”

However, Leon Hayes will not be able to fight for the opening spot after suffering a minor injury. 

The Warrington-born 19-year-old, who came through the club’s ranks, made his debut against Huddersfield from the bench and started the week after against Salford. 

“He injured himself training for North Wales last week,” Powell confirmed. 

“He’s in a boot at the moment, nothing major, but he won’t be available for this game.”

Josh Thewlis injury update

Josh Thewlis will also be forced to watch from the sidelines this Friday after suffering an injury during the recent 16-14 Challenge Cup sixth round victory over Catalans in Perpignan. 

“Josh Thewlis will miss one or two weeks with his injury,” Powell said. 

“He injured his knee. It’s a low Grade 2 MCL injury. He won’t be right this week, potential for next, but more likely the week after Magic. 

“Everybody else is alright. We’ve had a pretty light session today, off tomorrow and then team run.”

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