Leon Hayes impresses Warrington Wolves boss on home debut

WARRINGTON WOLVES interim coach Gary Chambers admits Leon Hayes could be in the running for selection in their crunch tie with Huddersfield Giants on Friday, after impressing in his Halliwell Jones Stadium debut.

On only his third Super League appearance against St Helens last week, the youngster showed what he was capable of in the second half despite Warrington’s defeat.

Chambers will be hoping to have George Williams back from a thigh injury against Huddersfield, where the Wolves need a win to make certain of a play-off place, but admits Hayes has made a case to remain in the side.

“One-hundred per cent he has, hasn’t he?” Chambers said. 

“I’m really, really happy and he did exactly what I thought he would do.

“As the game went on, he started to have a go at the line. He’s thinking ‘hang on, I can handle this.”

At just five foot five, the 19-year-old silenced critics by defending well and making some crucial one-on-one tackles. 

Aside from his defence, Hayes displayed an impressive kicking game and got some great distance on some touch finders. 

His confidence grew in the second half, which could be seen by his increased involvement and demand for the ball when attacking the Saints line. 

Chambers said he was impressed with Hayes’ mindset following the match: “He said himself after the game that he was chasing it the first 15 minutes.

“He actually said: ‘It’s just a game of rugby’, once you’ve got over the euphoria and all the atmosphere. He’ll take loads out of that. 

“It’s about nurturing and developing him now; he’s going to be important for the club moving forward.