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Warrington Wolves stand-off draws comparisons to rugby league great
GARETH O’Brien is drawing comparisons to one of rugby league’s current greats.
The 21-year-old half back returned to Wolves’ squad against Salford following a loan spell at Castleford Tigers, and Wolves skipper Adrian Morley believes that his return is a shot in the arm for a Warrington side that is likely to be without playmaker Lee Briers for at least another five weeks.
“O’Brien’s return to the squad is a big boost for us, without a doubt,” said Morley, who is currently recovering from surgery to fix a bicep tear suffered against Catalan Dragons in February.
“I think he is a tremendous player, very creative.”
Thirteen first-team appearances in 2012 at the age of 20 suggests Tony Smith agrees with his captain about O’Brien’s quality.
“He is a young lad with a great deal of improvement still to come,” said Morley.
“That is a scary prospect considering the level he is operating on at this stage of his career.
“He reminds me of a young Danny McGuire.
“Gareth has a great future in the game and he is going to be invaluable.
“When you lose one of your generals, like we have with Lee, it is great to have someone of the talent of him to push us around the park and Gareth does that brilliantly.”
It is quite a comparison from Morley, who has played alongside Leeds Rhinos’ six-time Grand Final winner McGuire 12 times for Great Britain and six times for England.
Morley is itching to make a return to Super League action following surgery a few weeks ago but admitted that it would be unwise to allow his impatience to overrule strict instructions from medical staff.
“I saw the specialist last week and he was really pleased with how the arm was coming along,” he said.
“Even though everything is going according to plan and it shouldn’t be over the 12 weeks, I don’t think I’m going to break any recovery records.
“I have the full movement back in the arm, but I have to take it really slow and less is best.
“So unless I try and do something silly and do 50 chin-ups, I should be back within the 12 weeks first quoted.”