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Defeat to Widnes Vikings prompts Warrington Wolves change of heart on Gareth O'Brien recall
11:10am Sunday 18th August 2013 in Wolves
WOLVES have recalled scrum half Gareth O'Brien from his loan spell with St Helens.
Earlier in the week, boss Tony Smith said there was no intention to bring back O'Brien at this stage but he must have had a change of heart after Thursday night's disastrous home defeat to Widnes Vikings.
On that occasion, with Richie Myler and Lee Briers sidelined, Michael Monaghan and Stefan Ratchford led the playmaking from the halves but Wolves looked rarely capable of opening up a determined Widnes defence that had conceded almost twice as many points as Wolves this year.
Warrington's kicking game was lacking too, so O'Brien's availability would give Smith some options in the final two regular rounds of the Super League season and the play-offs.
O'Brien could now be asked to do a job against Saints on August 30.
The 21-year-old initially joined Saints on a one-month loan in June and the clubs subsequently agreed for him to remain at Langtree Park on a weekly basis.
The arrival of a recognised number seven - who brought direction to the Saints attack - coincided with a significant improvement in performances, which saw Wolves' rivals rise to fifth in the table.
However, O’Brien, whose willingness to take the ball to the defensive line was a feature of his seven-game spell, is sidelined for another week after suffering concussion in late challenges against Wigan and Catalan.
He was absent from Saints’ squad named ahead of today’s trip to Wakefield - and would have been unavailable to feature against his parent club.
In a statement, Saints said: “With him (O’Brien) missing this Sunday's game at Wakefield and being ineligible to play against his parent club the loan has come to a natural end.
“Saints would like to place on record their thanks to Gareth O'Brien as well as Tony Smith and Warrington.
“The loan benefited both parties at a time when Saints had a number of players out injured.”
O’Brien revealed his return to Warrington on Twitter: “Wanna thank @Saints1890 for the opportunity to play for them these last eight weeks (the time I wasn't k.o), great blokes enjoyed my time there.”
Warrington Wolves, meanwhile, have not made any announcement of O'Brien's recall.
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