Crocked Wheeler prays for better luck

INJURY-jinxed Gary Wheeler faces another lengthy spell on the sidelines.

The 23-year-old, who has only featured in 52 Saints’ games since making his first team debut in a 56-0 Challenge Cup victory over the London Skolars in April 2008, will be out of action for around four months after suffering a hamstring tendon tear in the second-half of Saints 20-12 defeat against champions Leeds Rhinos at Langtree Park on Friday night.

It’s a shattering blow for the former Blackbrook youngster who has been plagued by bad luck in recent years and must be wondering when it will all end.

“I really feel for Gary,” said head coach Nathan Brown yesterday.

“It’s neither good for him, his family or his team-mates.”

Brown added: “He has had five or six weeks training, doing the right things, preparing well and deservedly earning a spot in the first team but now this happens.

“The tackle he took didn’t appear too serious when it occurred but generally they turn out to be worse than expected.”

Saints, however, will be hoping that the versatile Lance Hohaia, who has missed the last three fixtures due to a shoulder problem, and Mark Flanagan will be available for Friday’s short trip to title favourites Warrington Wolves.

At this moment in time, St Helens are lying seventh in the Super League table but Brown doesn’t read too much into their current position.

“We are only three points adrift of leaders Huddersfield Giants and if in 15 weeks time we are in a similar situation, I will be a happy man, as we are likely to be in the top four,” he insisted.

FORMER St Helens hooker Scott Moore will become the latest Englishman to play in the NRL when he makes his debut for North Queensland Cowboys this weekend.

The 24-year-old England international, who was released by Huddersfield at the end of last season to enable him to sign a two-year deal with the Cowboys, will line up against last year’s beaten Grand Finalists Canterbury Bulldogs in Gosford in the opening round on Saturday.