McRae puts faith in 'the General' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

McRae puts faith in 'the General'

Ian Laybourn 09/02/2011 05:04:35 PM Comments (0)

Salford coach Shaun McRae expects new signing Luke Patten to live up to his nickname by taking over as the Reds' `general' this Super League season.

The former Canterbury Bulldogs fullback is widely known as `the general' after favourable comparisons with America's famous combat leader of World War II, George S Patton.

The 31-year-old will be one of a host of new faces making their debut for the new-look Reds against the Celtic Crusaders at the Millennium Stadium on Sunday, but most eyes will be on Patten.

"I'm really excited," said McRae.

"He's an outstanding player. One of the things that I think is sometimes overlooked in the game is control at the back, whether that be offence or defence, and that's what I think 'The General' provides.

"He's very much a guy that can control your team whether you have the football or not. He co-ordinates a lot for you and directs.

"He's been around the game for a long, long time in the NRL and I don't think I've ever worked with a more enthusiastic person.

"You expect everybody to be that way when they first come to the club but Luke's been absolutely dynamic with everything he's done. He's fitted into this group so well."

Patten, who has wanted to play in England since coming here to play for Canterbury in the 2005 World Club Challenge against Leeds, was an off-season target of Huddersfield coach Nathan Brown, who saw him as a like-for-like replacement for Brett Hodgson, now at Warrington.

But Patten opted to join his old Bulldogs team-mate Daniel Holdsworth at the Willows and a delighted McRae is tipping him to make a similar impact to that of Hodgson, who won the Man of Steel award in his first season in Super League.

"Brett might be a fraction quicker on his feet but in the way they play the game and the intelligence they bring to the team, I don't think there's a great deal of difference," he said.

"If Luke performs anywhere near as well as Brett Hodgson has done since he came to the country, we've got a real good buy on our hands.

"Not only myself but a lot of people have put him under enormous pressure since we made the signing because we all praise him but I think he's the sort of player that handles that.

"I don't think it concerns him in any way, shape or form. I think he'll be very good for our organisation."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news