FIT-AGAIN Leeds Rhinos forward Jamie Jones-Buchanan is confident he can handle the pace of a Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final, if he gets the chance.
Jones-Buchanan returned from almost two months on the casualty list, with a hamstring problem, as a substitute in last Sunday’s 36-22 win over Catalans Dragons.
He got through the game with no ill-effects and is available for Friday’s showdown with St Helens at Warrington, though he insisted he isn’t taking a place in the team for granted.
He said: “I am happy to have got through 55 minutes last week and got through unscathed, but there’s people to come back in who’ve been playing well this year. I am not assuming anything for Friday, I might not make the team, but I am just happy to be in a position where I am up and running.
“I am not 100 per cent in terms of match fitness and game time, but I am getting there and I will be happy in two or three weeks to be in full flight. I will continue with my re-hab and put my best foot forward and it depends if Brian (McDermott, Rhinos’ coach) wants to pick me.”
Rhinos scored more than 40 points in both their Super League wins over Saints, but Jones-Buchanan stressed: “They have had a lot of joy over the years at Warrington. It is a semi-final, it’s totally different and I don’t think the two wins we’ve had over them will count for anything on Friday.”