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Injured Viking Cameron Phelps keen to be back to face Warrington
9:51am Thursday 21st March 2013 in Sport
Currently sidelined with a knee injury, Vikings centre Cameron Phelps says he is keen to pull on his boots and hit the ground running again as soon as possible.
Before he was forced to revert to the role of a spectator over the past few weeks, Phelps registered a brace of tries in the Vikings’ recent 36-16 demolition of his former club Hull FC.
And he admits that the the extended time-out that’s been forced upon him couldn’t have been worse-timed, commenting: “The boys are going really well, and it’s disappointing not to be able to play my part in that.
“I’m actually off-contract at the end of the current season, too, which makes not being out there, playing footy alongside them and putting my case forward even more frustrating.”
Fortunately, a return to full fitness is just around the corner for the 28-year-old, and he’s hoping to be in contention for a place in the 17 sooner rather than later.
“I was hoping to be ready for the Catalan game, but the injury was a little worse than we first thought. The Wigan game at the weekend is in my sights now, but if that’s not possible I’ll definitely be good to go for the Good Friday game.”
Phelps made his NRL debut for Canterbury Bulldogs in 2005 and moved to Super League – firstly with Wigan in 2008 and then Hull FC in 2011 – before linking up with the Vikings ahead of the 2012 season.
Among his fondest memories of his time spent overseas so far are the local derby games, and if selected Cameron readily admits he can’t wait to get stuck into another Vikings versus Wolves battle for bragging rights on Good Friday, saying: “These games are what sporting rivalry is all about.
“Back in Australia, Parramatta Eels was probably the big derby for the Bulldogs, but the games over here are a lot different and the local rivalry seems a lot more intense. It’s always a pleasure to feature in as many of them as you can.”
Reflecting on the Vikings’ poor record of played three, lost three versus the Wolves in 2012, Cameron is confident that heavy defeats such as those are very much a thing of the past.
He said: “Nobody is ever happy walking off the pitch on the back of a defeat, and the Magic Weekend game was definitely the worst of a bad bunch, as we were pretty ordinary that day.
“The Wolves are a quality team and we had no answers to them and they put us to the sword. This time around we’re a bit smarter, and hopefully we can get the win when we play them again at the end of the month.
“Without wishing to make excuses, last year was definitely a building year for the team. We were new to Super League and were taught a few valuable lessons at times.
“A lot of our younger blokes were given plenty of game-time last season, and we’ve also brought in some new heads as well, who are all quality players. If we combine that together with the hard work we all put in, in pre-season, you can see why it looks to be paying dividends at the moment.
“We’re a close-knit bunch of guys. Everybody gets on really well – and there are no idiots in the team!”