DANIEL Mortimer’s dad played for Hull Kingston Rovers but there will be no split loyalties for Leigh’s Australian half back on Saturday, writes Trevor Baxter.

The Centurions top the fledgling Middle 8s table ahead of this weekend’s visit of the Championship League Leaders’ Shield winners.

If they can follow up last Saturday’s 38-12 win at Featherstone, Neil Jukes’ side will be handily placed in their bid for Super League survival.

Mortimer’s father, Peter, now 59, played 22 games for the Robins including a match against Leigh, during his one season on Humberside in 1987-88.

“He had a ball,” said Mortimer junior, whose try at Post Office Road was his first since joining from Cronulla Sharks.

“Growing up, he and mum always tells of the life he had over here. They said they loved it “So, from a young age I always wanted to come over and the time was right this year. It’s been a great experience so far.”

Mortimer will be pivotal to Leigh’s chances of avenging their 23-10 Challenge Cup defeat by the Robins at Leigh Sports Village.

And he will be part of a much changed back line from that game when Martyn Ridyard was at full-back and Josh Drinkwater was partnered by Ben Reynolds.

Mortimer is now finding his feet in the English game though he admits the current Qualifiers concept remains unsettling.

“Your job is on the line but in the NRL even if you finish bottom, your contract is still there the following year,” he said.

“It is pretty daunting but that’s the way it is. The key for us is play our own game and not be tempted to go away from our structure.

“We went into the Middle 8s with a bit of confidence and we showed that in patches at Featherstone.

“They are a good side and the scoreboard flattered us. There were periods in the game where they had us on the ropes and we were hanging on.

“The biggest thing was going there and getting the result.”

Leigh will again be without Ben Crooks and Gareth Hock for Rovers’ visit. Hock will miss the rest of the season after a torn knee cartilage and loan star Crooks might struggle to return before the end of the campaign.

However, centre Samisoni Langi is expected to have recovered from the concussion that forced him off against ‘Fev.’ On the Hull KR challenge Jukes agrees: “It will be a tough one. They may be in the Championship but they are all but a Super League side with their fan base, players and coaching staff.

“It’s massive challenge and it adds a bit of pressure being at home. There is more expectancy on us but it’s no bigger than Featherstone last week.”

Rovers are sweating on the fitness of former St Helens heavyweight Mose Masoe, the subject of a chicken wing tackle last Sunday that has since earned Ryan Boyle a one-game ban.

Centre Thomas Minns is doubtful with a dead leg but Adam Quinlan, Chris Clarkson and James Greenwood could all return.

“We are still tinkering with our halves,” admits coach Tim Sheens. “You can see with our kicking game our last-play options are not where we want them to be.

“Leigh are very good at that with Drinkwater’s kicking game. So, we need to fix that big time.”