Wakefield Wildcats head coach Richard Agar has welcomed Oliver Wilkes back into his 19-man squad to face his former club London Broncos on Sunday at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium (kick-off: 3.30pm).
The prop has been out with damaged ligaments in his thumb since the victory over Salford in April and after an impressive start to the season he is back in contention, news Agar is delighted with.
“Oliver is back so that gives us another front rower to pick from and he worked really hard before his injury and we worked really hard with him on certain aspects of his game,” Agar told the pre-match press conference, available in full on Wildcats TV now.
“He gives us plenty of punch and he was in really good form so let’s hope he can come back where he left off.
“He’s obviously had a few weeks on the sidelines but he’s worked really hard while he’s been out and he’s got the go ahead to be back in our squad this weekend and he will probably make the 17,” said Agar.
With the dramatic victory over Castleford Tigers last Saturday at Magic Weekend and the return of Wilkes there is a feeling amongst the squad that Sunday could bring win number five of the season.
“We’d like to think so, we did feel coming into this run of fixtures that the one on Sunday is a really important one for us and I don’t think belief has been much of a problem for us.
“We have a really tight knit and spirited bunch of blokes that approach every game with the mentality of winning.”
The Broncos travel to West Yorkshire having only won two games all season after their 42-18 defeat by Catalan Dragons in Manchester but the Wildcats head coach is not taking them lightly.
“They were playing a tough team at the Etihad and one thing they do is carry the ball strongly, with Kaufusi and then on the back of that they have good wingers and with players like Craig Gower they certainly ask questions. We are certainly playing a good side with individual players with real threats.
“Maybe their league position is not a reflection of the talent and capability that the team has. There is no shying away from the fact they will be disappointed to have only won two games this season and they will be feel they have been underperforming.
“We have to be wary of that and obviously one of their victories came against us, they could utilise that coming into the game on Sunday but we need to utilise it too.
“It’s a good opportunity for us to get back-to-back victories but London will be thinking it’s an opportunity for a win as well. When we look at our season we look at the Castleford and London games as two of the games we feel were the real damaging and disappointing moments for us.
“I’m not sure the score line on that day (away to London) necessarily reflected the two teams but we will be doing our best to put that right on Sunday.”
The 19-man squad in full is:
Tickets for Sunday’s game are on sale now, with the game also the first of our Summer Saver ticket offer.
See the games against London Broncos, Leeds Rhinos, St. Helens and Widnes Vikings for just £50 adults, £30 concessions and £20 juniors.
Buy yours now in the Ridings Centre Store, Rapid Solicitors Stadium Box Office or call 01924 201548.
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