BOSS BRIAN McDermott has praised teenage half-back Jordan Lilley’s “football brain”.
Lilley impressed for Leeds Rhinos in pre-season, captaining them when they beat Hunslet Hawks in last month’s Lazenby Cup tie.
He was drafted into the squad for last week’s Super League opener against Warrington Wolves after hooker Beau Falloon was ruled out due to a broken toe. The 19-year-old came on from the bench in the first half, when scrum-half Danny McGuire hobbled off with an injured knee and played the rest of the 12-10 defeat out of position at hooker.
It was only his fifth senior appearance and McDermott said: “I am waiting for him to look out of his depth.
“He played a few games last year and he played against New Zealand in that warm-up game in October and he just seems to handle it.
“If you watched him standing there in jeans and trainers you’d think ‘who’s this random who’s just walked in’? but he’s good. He has got a good football brain.
“He sees things, which is hard to coach into players.”
McDermott expects to see more from stand-off Liam Sutcliffe as he gets more game time under his belt.
Last week’s game was Sutcliffe’s first in Super League since suffering a knee ligament injury last June.
“Along with a few people I thought he was a bit rusty, in his first game back after such a long time out,” McDermott said.
“He will get better, he is a good player – we all rate him.”