No let-up from Fisher
London Broncos assistant coach Ben Fisher will be in the thick of the action in the opening game of the Magic Weekend at Manchester's Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
The 32-year-old former Hull KR hooker made his first start of the season in last week's Super League defeat by Wigan Warriors and is guaranteed to keep his spot against Catalan Dragons with the club's other specialist number nines both injured.
Fisher, who played for the Dragons in 2012 and was in their side that demolished the Broncos 42-18 at the Etihad, joined the Londoners' backroom staff in the winter as assistant to head coach Tony Rea but was also intent on continuing his playing career.
Fisher not only feels he can still cut it in Super League but is determined to play for Scotland in the end-of-year World Cup and knows he needs to maintain his match fitness.
"It was always the plan for him to play," said Rea. "He wants to go to the World Cup with Scotland so he was never going to not play but I've definitely used him more than I thought I would."
With first-choice hooker Chad Randall sidelined due to hamstring and groin injuries and back-up Tommy Lee facing a six-week lay-off with a knee injury, Fisher can expect plenty of game time against his old club on Saturday.
Rea is set to give a debut to 20-year-old half-back Mike Bishay, who has been playing on dual-registration with Championship One club Hemel Stags, but will keep changes to a minimum.
The coach had threatened to swing the axe following his side's 64-6 mauling by Wigan, claiming "tough decisions have to be made", but he believes he over-reacted immediately after the game.
"I was a bit hard on us," he said. "When I looked at it closely, Michael Robertson pulled out overnight, Dan Sarginson in the warm-up and Fisher got hurt early so we had to adjust.
"A lot of stuff happened which, in hindsight, didn't put us in a good light. We already had a few out and they just got us in those spots.
"The team was put under pressure by not being able to prepare for some of the things we needed to prepare for in a game like that.
"What annoyed me was that we didn't give ourselves a chance because we were doing the little things wrong. You've got to get the basics done to get into the contest and give yourself a fighting chance."
An 11th defeat from their first 15 matches has left the Broncos next to bottom of the table, above Salford City Reds on points difference, but Rea insists there is no need to panic.
"It hasn't been a cracking year obviously," he said. "We managed to hold it together and not crack apart, other than probably at the weekend.
"We've been in contests. We'll have our day. We'll adjust a few things and keep evolving. We've got to stick together."