Cougars pull Wray out of international side
Keighley Cougars have withdrawn hooker Jamaine Wray from the Jamaican team that played in the Carnegie Floodlit Nines at Headingley Carnegie Stadium tonight (Wednesday).
The Cougars needed to protect Wray from injury so that he can face London Skolars at New River Stadium on Friday evening, the eve of the Carnegie Challenge Cup Final at Wembley, a critical fixture for the club.
Keighley will secure second place if they beat bottom of the table London at the stadium on White Hart Lane and assure themselves of a home game in the end-of-season play-offs.
Wray’s value to the Cougars increased dramatically after skipper James’ Buster’ Feather suffered a depressed fractured cheekbone in last Sunday’s Co-operative Championship One victory over Hunslet Hawks.
Wary had been selected for the Jamaican squad but Cougars Head Coach Eaton decided that with so much at stake on Friday Wray was needed by the Cougars.
And Jamaine, known as ‘Killer’ by people throughout Rugby League, has shared the hooking role with Feather all through the season.
Although Feather had the starting role Eaton brings Wray off the bench as one of the side’s ‘impact players’. His all-action style makes him a doughty performer and often key to Cougar’s performances during the last two seasons.
Eaton said: “Jamaine was naturally disappointed at losing the chance of playing international Rugby League but with Buster’s injury we really need him to be available to us.
“He did take a knock to the leg against Hunslet and while would expected to be fit for Friday that would have meant he would have been doubtful for Jamaica in any case.
“I explained our position to their coach Dean Thomas and the Jamaican team management, we had no other option.”
He added: “We’re still waiting to hear about the extent of Buster’s injury. Basically if there’s no operation he could be fit for the Grand Final at Warrington on Sunday, October 4.
“If he does have an operation he’ll be ruled out completely for three months”.
Feather said: “It’s really disappointing to be in this position at such an important time of the season but I’m sure the boys can finish the job.
“I’d rather the injury had happened at the start of the season but you have no choice in these matters. I clashed heads with Daley Williams after he was flung away from a tackle by a Hawks player”.
It’s also a blow to Feather who recently completed his 100th successive appearance for the Cougars.
Now the question is whether Eaton will need another player to enable him to ‘spell’ Wray throughout the game.