The Liam Farrell Column: I’d hate to face Micky in his comeback game

Liam Farrell
Liam Farrell

It’s great news that Micky McIlorum will soon be back on board.

I’ve not trained with him yet but those who have say he’s super keen.

How highly do I rate Kallum Watkins? He’s the best centre England’s got

Liam Farrell

Hopefully I get to play with him on his first game back – I wouldn’t like to play against Micky on any day, and I’d hate to be an opponent that day!

He’s got a lot of frustration to get out after 14 months on the sidelines. I can’t imagine what it’s been like for him.

I had a spell injured last year, and the hardest part was not knowing when I’d be alright to play again. I had that for a few months, but Micky’s had to deal with that for much longer.

At first, he hoped to play again at the back end of last season, then it got put back to the start of this year, and then he had a complication and it was put it back again. For him to deal with that, and be as professional as he has been – he’s still been his usual self in training – is a credit to him.

Hopefully I’ll be able to play against Leeds tomorrow.

We’ll make a call after team run. If I feel okay to play, I will, but if the calf’s tight then obviously I’ll say.

I know our recent record at Headingley isn’t great, but I love playing there. It’s always a great atmosphere, and there’s rarely a dull game between us.

They’re a tricky team to defend against. With players like Adam Cuthbertson, it’s about making sure we don’t switch off, because you think a tackle is made and then the ball pops up, and they have players who can react to that. So we’ll go knowing we need to concentrate for the full game, and we’ll be confident we can do well if we stick to our game-plan.

I missed the loss to Hull FC last Friday but, speaking to the lads, they were frustrated with themselves for giving themselves too much to do. For some reason we were trying things we wouldn’t normally do.

To be 18-0 down at half-time - and 22-0 down soon after the restart – was always going to be tough.

But once we got some kind of rhythm and did what we are good at, we scored some points and caused them some problems.

Kallum Wakins is a year below me – I can’t believe he’s got to the 200 games milestone for his club before I have!

It’s obviously going to be a big night for him. How highly do I rate him? I think he’s the best English centre we’ve got. He’s shown what a talented player he is over the years, some of the things he can do are pretty freakish.

I’ve played alongside him in Tests and, going way back, also with the Under-16s and in the England academy side, and he always had the same attributes.

He’s very down to earth and quite a quiet person, but he’s very confident on the field.