Warrington Wolves’ Leon Hayes set for ‘long time on sidelines’ with gruesome injury

WARRINGTON are set to be without young scrum-half Leon Hayes following a gruesome injury to his lower leg in their defeat to Salford on Saturday.

The 20-year-old was stretchered off the field in the 57th minute, clearly in great pain.

Speaking after the game, an emotional Wolves coach Sam Burgess provided a brief update, confirming Hayes had suffered a potential ankle dislocation or fracture during the incident. 

“It’s not a great one for him, it’s a tough injury,” Burgess said. “We don’t know the full extent yet, but it’s not great.”

Hayes seemed to be in good spirits as he was carried off the field, clapping in appreciation of the applause the fans were giving him. 

At the time of speaking to the media, Burgess explained that the club was still waiting for the results of the scans to find out how much damage was sustained. 

“I’ve spoken to him on the phone and he’s in good spirits – he’s probably more disappointed with the loss, which shows a lot about his character,” added Burgess.

“It’s not looking good, so it could be a long time on the sidelines.

“I’m gutted for him, but that’s sport.”

Meanwhile, Australian halfback Josh Drinkwater looks likely to exit Warrington at the end of the year – but will, League Express understands, seek another Super League club.

The 31-year-old Sydneysider and ex-NRL player joined the Wolves from Catalans on a two-year contract ahead of last season, when he played 25 times, scoring two tries.

But he has featured in only three matches since Sam Burgess took the reins for the current campaign, with Academy product Hayes partnering England skipper George Williams.

That is set to change in the short-term following Hayes’ serious injury but, in the long term, the departure of former St George Illawarra Dragons and Wests Tigers player Drinkwater, who has also played for London Broncos, Leigh and Hull KR in England, would free up a quota spot for Warrington as Burgess looks to develop the squad.

He was a key man for Catalans during his two spells in Perpignan, helping them beat Warrington at Wembley to secure an historic first French Challenge Cup triumph in 2018 before in 2021, they won the League Leaders’ Shield and reached the Super League Grand Final, losing narrowly to St Helens.

First published in League Express newspaper, Issue 3,428 (April 29, 2024)

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