AN ankle injury to marquee man Blake Austin against Catalans Dragons forced The Wire to act quickly in strengthening their half-back options.

With stand-off Kevin Brown missing since the season’s start with an Achilles problem, Dec Patton is currently the last man standing – and even he has been left out of the 19-man squad to face St Helens at The Halliwell Jones Stadium tonight, Thursday, kick-off 7.45pm.

“It was unfortunate with Kev Brown going down with his Achilles injury at the start of the season, and being my vice-captain we gave him every chance to try and get back this season and we’re just not quite sure whether that would eventuate or not.

“And with Blake going down over the weekend, I needed another player in the halves position. I’m really pleased to get Matt on board.”

Austin appears to be facing a race against time to be fit for the Challenge Cup Final at Wembley against Saints on August 24.

“Blake’s positive and upbeat,” said Price.

“He’s got a bit of an ankle sprain. It’s one of those ones where in a couple of weeks we’ll find out and see where he’s at.

“He’ll do everything right. He’s really meticulous in his preparation and so he’ll do everything he can.

“He’ll give himself every chance. We have wonderful medical staff here who do whatever it takes. Time will tell.”