JARRAD Stack's performances as a stand-in centre for Barrow Raiders have drawn praise from Paul Crarey.

The second row has put in some good displays for the Raiders during his stint in the three-quarters while Declan Hulme recovers from the bicep injury sustained in the pre-season friendly against Wigan Warriors.

Hulme is in line to return for the Raiders following the Easter double-header and while head coach Crarey knows Stack would rather play in the pack, he has been delighted with how the Australian has taken to a role he previously filled on occasions at Whitehaven.

"Jarrad is probably a better back row, but he's been absolutely outstanding in the centre," said Crarey. "He's so good defensively, nothing gets past him and he's got a little pass in him.

"He's getting some tries himself and because he's had a rib injury, it's been easy to put him out there because he's not doing as much work as he would do if he played in the second row.

"It's been a bit of blessing playing him out there because he's shored us up a little bit. Declan is a very good defensive centre and we've got him to come back, which is a relief."

Hulme is one of two Raiders players yet to have featured in the 2019 Betfred Championship season due to injury, with off-season signing Gareth Hock still recovering from surgery on his injured shoulder.

Indeed, such are the injury problems affecting the squad this year that the club's own statistics show just five players – Deon Cross, Lewis Charnock, Wartovo Puara Jr, Willie Minoga and Josh Johnson – have played 10 games for them so far.

Several of those who have been ruled out due to injury are starting to get back to fitness though, with a blank weekend prior to the Easter games against Toronto Wolfpack and Bradford Bulls providing some welcome extra recovery time.

"It's phenomenal only five have done that out of the squad, and that's where we're at," said Crarey.

"Declan Hulme and Gareth Hock haven't played yet, and some have only played two or three games.

"It's a stat which, for us, tells a massive story of how we've had to rotate and change up every week – not just one or two, but three, four or five per game and there has been no consistency in selection or the team gelling on the park.

"We're starting to get there now and the improvement is massive in terms of what we're putting together, and if we put a full defensive display in with a disciplined display as well we won't be far away."