Skandalis likely to come in for Payten - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Skandalis likely to come in for Payten

By Ben Horne 23/09/2010 01:49:18 PM Comments (0)

Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens says he's leaning towards bringing back veteran John Skandalis to replace injured forward Todd Payten in Saturday's NRL preliminary final against St George Illawarra.

The 34-year-old Skandalis retired from professional football two years ago but, despite not being part of the Tigers top 25 over the past two seasons, has still kept fit and made 19 appearances in the top grade.

Skandalis injured his buttocks in the round-25 win over Melbourne and was expected to miss the rest of the season, but it seems the evergreen prop will receive yet another call-up and a chance at a second premiership.

However his fortune comes at the expense of the experienced and in-form Payten, who badly rolled his ankle in a training mishap on Wednesday.

Payten has suffered serious ligament damage which will end his season.

Sheens is slightly concerned that Skandalis hasn't played for three weeks, but is favouring the Magpies junior over younger candidates like Ben Murdoch-Masila.

"Whether we activate Johnny Skandalis we'll wait and see," Sheens said on Thursday.

"John hasn't played for three weeks so that's a bit of an issue. I'm just looking at him, he trained strongly yesterday so that may be another option for us.

"I was relying more on the experienced forwards to carry us and do more time on the park rather than the younger ones.

"But if we have to push their time out a little bit more this week we will.

"He's a pretty fit boy John, having worked as the (under) 20s fitness coordinator this year so he's very fit, and his experience would have a major part in my decision."

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