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Gareth O'Brien's loan spell at Saints comes to an end as Warrington recall him
12:09am Sunday 18th August 2013 in Latest News
SAINTS will have to settle on another new half back pairing as the play offs approach after it was confirmed Warrington have recalled on-loan scrum half Gareth O'Brien.
The 21-year-old initially joined Saints on a one-month loan in June and the clubs subsequently agreed for him to remain at Langtree Park on a weekly basis.
The arrival of a recognised number seven - who brought direction to the Saints attack - coincided with a significant improvement in performances, which has seen the club rise to fifth in the table.
However, O’Brien, whose willingness to take the ball to the defensive line has been a feature of his seven game spell, is currently sidelined after suffering concussion in late challenges against Wigan and Catalan.
He was absent from Saints’ squad named ahead of Sunday’s trip to Wakefield - and would have been unavailable to feature in the August 30 fixture against his parent club.
Warrington have injury concerns over Lee Briers and Richie Myler and it is thought coach Tony Smith wants O’Brien as cover as the play offs approach.
In a statement tonight Saints said: “With him (O’Brien) missing this Sunday's game at Wakefield and being ineligible to play against his parent club the loan has come to a natural end.
“Saints would like to place on record their thanks to Gareth O'Brien as well as Tony Smith and Warrington.
“The loan benefitted both parties at a time when Saints had a number of players out injured.”
O’Brien, meanwhile, had earlier revealed his return to Warrington on Twitter: “Wanna thank @Saints1890 for the opportunity to play for them these last 8 weeks (the time I wasn't k.o), great blokes enjoyed my time there.”
With three games to go until the play offs, Saints coach Nathan Brown will have to reassess his options in the halves.
Lance Hohaia, the Kiwi international on the margins for the much of the season, partnered Jon Wilkin in the recent victory over London.