HULL FC assistant coach Andy Last says it will be like signing a “new player” when young centre Jack Logan makes his first Super League game in almost two years tomorrow night.
Logan will line-up on the right wing at champions Leeds Rhinos with Bureta Faraimo missing out due to concussion.
The talented 22-year-old has endured a difficult time after a loss of form and then a serious knee injury stalled his career progress.
Logan debuted in 2014, making three appearances, including scoring two tries in a win against Leeds.
He established himself in the Black and Whites side the following summer, scoring five tries in a dozes matches and started the first six games of 2016, keeping ex-Great Britain star Kirk Yeaman out of the side.
However, a dip in form saw him lose his spot and then the Hull-born three-quarter ruptured a cruciate ligament while playing for the reserves in June 2016.
Logan returned to action on dual-registration for Doncaster 12 months later but - with the likes of Carlos Tuimavave, Josh Griffin, Jake Connor, Mahe Fonua and Fetuli Talanoa all in front of him at Hull - games against Whitehaven and Newcastle Thunder were his only appearances last term.
He did, however, get a run-out against St George-Illawarra during FC’s trip to New South Wales last month and, with Fonua returned to the NRL, Faraimo injured and Connor starting at stand-off at Headingley, he now gets his chance.
Last said: “It’s his first start this year after a horrendous 18 months of injury so he’s looking forward to it.
“He’s trained exceptionally well, and it will be like getting a new player. We’re excited to see how he goes.
“He’s a lot stronger than he was 18 months ago as he’s had a lot of specialist one-on-one time to get the knee strong and obviously areas of his upper body that he needed to strengthen.
“The conditioning team have done a great job on him and he looks a lot more robust as a young player now.”
Last continued: “It’s funny it’s Leeds tomorrow as his breakthrough game was against them.
“I think it was one of the last games of the season, he scored a couple of tries and had an exceptional game.
“We were rubbing our hands thinking ‘This kid is exciting’ but unfortunately he then suffered a bad injury to his knee which, obviously, as an outside back was a bit of a concern .
“But he’s bounced back and what we’ve spoken to Jack about is that he’s mentally very, very strong now after the ups and downs of spending some time on the sidelines.
“One of his strengths is he’s very versatile - he can play left and right edge, left wing, right wing and his skill-set fits the outside-back profile perfectly; he’s quick, strong, has good hands and is good under the high ball.
“We’re excited to see how he goes but he will have to take his opportunity as we have some exceptional outside backs and some strength there.”
Meanwhile, Last confirmed - with Liam Watts starting a three-game ban - young prop Masi Matongo would make his first start at Headingley.