IT IS payback time for Leeds Rhinos forward Brett Ferres.
The much-travelled second-rower is back in action after an injury-hit year and says he wants to repay the faith coach Brian McDermott, his teammates and the club have shown in him.
When Ferres came off the bench in last week’s win over Salford Red Devils it was only his 13th appearance of the season.
He is hoping for more game time at Huddersfield Giants on Friday as he attempts to build his fitness for the Betfred Super League semi-final a week later.
And he knows if Leeds win their next three games all the frustration of the past year will be forgotten.
Rhinos will be at home to the team finishing third in the Super-8s table in a sudden-death semi-final a week on Friday, with the Grand Final taking place eight days later.
Ferres said: “That’s the reason I came to this club.
“I want to win things and play in the big games.
“Unfortunately this year has been a really tough one and I’ve not been able to contribute as much as I’d have liked, but hopefully now I can get out there and do a bit of payback for the boys and the coaches here and the physio team.
“The physios have worked really hard with me and got me into a position now where I can hopefully make a difference.”
The former Bradford, Wakefield, Castleford and Huddersfield man reckons McDermott took “a bit of a punt” by selecting him last weekend.
“I owe him a lot because he has taken a bit of a chance on me,” he said.
“He dropped a couple of players who have been in decent form so there’s a bit of payback there and hopefully I can rock up this week and be fresh and good and go again.”
Ferres missed the first five rounds of the Super League season due to a groin problem.
“He played in the next three, but was then handed a six-match ban.
After that he made eight successive appearances, but then suffered a knee injury which kept him out for nine of the next 10 games. Following an ill-fated attempted comeback in Leeds’ Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final loss to Hull, Ferres admitted he was pleased to emerge from last Friday’s return unscathed.
“I was relieved to get in the team and get a bit of time out there,” Ferres said.
“It has been a difficult few months so it was good to finally come through a game and I felt all right afterwards, which was nice.
“Hopefully I’ll come through this week all right and be good to go again on Friday.”
Ferres played against Salford without strapping on his problem knee and he said that was a boost to his confidence.
He added: “That’s a positive, it has been strapped pretty much every time I’ve played and I’ve felt a bit restricted – there’s been that much tape on I haven’t been able to move really.
“It has been pleasing to have a couple of weeks’ training leading into last week’s game, I backed a few sessions up and got a few miles into my legs and I felt a lot better for it out on the pitch.”
Ferres scored Rhinos’ final try in the 44-2 win and was satisfied with his contribution.
“I got a few decent involvements and some time and some running in my legs and a bit of contact on my back,” said the Leeds pack man.
“It was good to work on a bit of timing with Matt Parcell and Danny Mags [McGuire].
“That was all good and it was nice to score a try as well.”