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RugbyL: Warrington welcome back Waterhouse

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Warrington head coach Tony Smith is adamant returning second-row Trent Waterhouse will make an impact in their Super League clash with Huddersfield even if he's unlikely to last 80 minutes.

The 32-year-old former Australia international, who made nearly 200 appearances for Penrith in the NRL, has been unavailable for the Wolves' last three games with a lower back strain.

However he is back for the visit of Super League leaders Huddersfield on Friday, included in the 19-man squad along with Ben Harrison, who returns from a hernia operation.

The Wolves got back to winning ways with a 46-4 defeat of Salford last weekend and Warrington's Australian coach Smith is insistent that Waterhouse and Harrison will have a say on the outcome.

"We're talking about two international quality players," said Smith.

"I wouldn't expect either of them to play a full 80 minutes against Huddersfield.

"Huddersfield have been the most consistent in their performances so far this year. But I've no doubt players of this quality and calibre can contribute significantly to a game like this.

"Huddersfield have started the season well as they have done for the last few years now and we expect a really tough challenge again on Friday.

"We will need to go up another gear in terms of our performance and build on our defence as well as honing some of our attack."

Meanwhile another player returning from time out of the game, Bradford centre Adrian Purtell, is determined to continue his comeback against the Catalan Dragons on Saturday.

The 28-year-old, who played for Canberra and Penrith in the NRL, made his first appearance since suffering a heart attack at the Magic Weekend last May in the win over Hull KR last weekend.

Purtell came off the bench to play 55 minutes and insists he won't be fazed by playing the full 80 against the Dragons if called upon to by Bulls coach Francis Cummins.

"I played 55 minutes on Sunday and I needed a good fitness base to be able to get through that amount of minutes," said Purtell.

"It probably worked out perfectly for me. Franny spoke about bringing me on with maybe ten minutes to go but the boys had laid a platform and I worked my way into the game.

"I'd have no dramas about playing big minutes against Catalan but Franny is the coach and we'll hopefully have players coming back, so he will work out what is best for the team."

Hull KR meanwhile welcome Castleford Tigers, who are in the middle of a five-game winless streak, on Sunday looking to bounce back from the Bulls defeat.

However Rovers prop Mickey Paea, who moved to Europe after spells playing with Canterbury, St George and Sydney in the NRL, insists that is easier said than done.

"You have to play an 80-minute game against any team in this competition, it doesn't matter whether it's Castleford or Leeds," said Paea.

"Castleford beat Leeds a few weeks ago, so they have shown they can do it on their day. There are no easy games; it's just a matter of being consistent week in and week out."

Friday

St Helens v Salford City Reds

Wakefield Wildcats v Leeds Rhinos

Warrington Wolves v Huddersfield Giants

Saturday

London Broncos v Hull FC

Catalan Dragons v Bradford Bulls

Wigan Warriors v Widnes Vikings

Sunday

Hull KR v Castleford Tigers

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130320/rugbyl-warrington-welcome-back-waterhouse