Josh happy to welcome back Pat

Josh Charnley (centre)
Josh Charnley (centre)

JOSH Charnley will be happy to hand the goal-kicking duties back to Pat Richards on Sunday – because he has a bruised foot!

The winger was charged with the task of booting the conversions while former Man of Steel winner Richards was sidelined with a thigh injury.

Charnley took the duties from Richards midway through the clash against Warrington a month ago, and kept the role as he struck four goals in each of the following three Super League games.

But it was last Sunday’s 98-4 Challenge Cup mauling of Crusaders which took its toll, as 13 conversions from 18 attempts left the 20-year-old nursing a sore foot ahead of Sunday’s trip to Hull FC.

Charnley grinned: “I don’t mind doing the goal-kicking, but I’m glad Pat’s back this week because my foot’s sore.

“I must have been kicking them wrong, because my toes are all bruised!”

Last Sunday Charnley missed a late conversion from near-in front of the sticks which would have taken the Warriors to the century mark.

“I’ve copped it from the lads and on Twitter, but I’m certain the ball went over,” revealed Charnley.

“The touch judge said ‘no’ and I’ve not watched it back in case he was right!

“But I was certain it was a goal.”

Charnley also booted the goals in the 37-36 shock defeat at Widnes earlier this season, when Richards was rested, and learned a painful lesson of how much pressure a kicker faces.

“I do enjoy kicking but it’s a lot of weight on your shoulders,” he said.

“At Widnes, we had a late penalty and if I got it over we would have won by one point, but that’s how it goes.”

Charnley – Super League’s leading try-scorer this season with 11 – has been in stunning form and many expect him to be battling for England honours later this year.

This Sunday he will go head-to-head with one player who is blocking his path to the national side – Tom Briscoe.

“He and (Leeds’) Ryan Hall have proved themselves in Super League, and this is only my first solid year, so I want to prove myself,” he added. “Briscoe’s a good player. I met him at the England squad and he’s a good lad, too.”

Shaun Wane will name his 19-man squad today with Richards and Sean O’Loughlin set to return.