Jukes made to sweat on injured duo

Adam Higson suffered a rib injury against Wigan. Photo: Paul McCarthy
Adam Higson suffered a rib injury against Wigan. Photo: Paul McCarthy

Leigh are anxiously awaiting the results of scans on Gregg McNally and Adam Higson after the backs suffered injuries during Sunday’s pre-season win over Wigan at the Sports Village.

McNally pulled up shortly after joining the action in the second half as he tried to play the ball and coach Neil Jukes later confirmed that it looked as if he had suffered ankle ligament damage.

We have had to step up everything in preseason because we know we are in for a tough battle when Super League starts

Neil Jukes

He was due to have scans this week and Centurions fans will be keeping their fingers crossed for the popular full-back who endured a dreadful 2016. Last season he suffered a serious knee injury in a preseason game at Warrington and only regained fitness for the end of season play-offs.

Meanwhile Higson 
suffered a rib injury on Sunday and he will also be assessed by the club’s medical staff.

“We will support Gregg whatever happens and look to get him back as quickly as possible,” said Jukes. “These things are unfortunate especially after Gregg has such a long lay-off last season.”

Leigh play their second and final preseason game against Dewsbury Rams on Sunday. Jukes has promised that anyone who didn’t get a game against Wigan would feature this weekend but admits stand-off Martyn Ridyard probably won’t be involved. Dayne Weston, Micky Higham and Willie Tonga could get a run-out. Lachlan Burr may also make his debut following his recent move from Bradford.

Jukes was refusing to get carried away after Leigh demolished Wigan 50-10 but he did admit that he was happy with the performance.

“There were a few nervous new boys out there against Wigan,” said Jukes. “We were confident that we had done as much as we could in preseason training without breaking them ahead of a match. The acid test was always going to be in a game situation. I tried to give them long minutes to see how they could cope with fatigue rather than sending players on and off for 10 minutes at a time.

“We posted a lot of points when Wigan made a lot of changes but they have some very good young players coming through. We defended really well, especially at the end of the game when we had to cope with back to back sets. The players were very resilient.

“We have had to step up everything in preseason because we know we are in for a tough battle when Super League starts.The players, especially the new ones, will gain a lot of confidence from the game.

“I thought Ben Crooks was brilliant – it wasn’t a bad first touch to go 90 metres for a 
try. I thought James Green, Ryan Hampshire, James Clare and Eloi Pelissier showed some real nice touches too.”