Wildcats head coach Richard Agar has included new loan signing Lee Smith in his 19-man squad with the Leeds Rhinos loanee expected to come straight into the starting line-up to play Wigan Warriors on Sunday (kick off 3:30pm).
Smith joined up with the Wildcats on a month’s loan deal yesterday (Thursday) and will wear the number 35 shirt when he makes his Wakefield debut this weekend.
Smith takes the place in the squad of Vince Mellars who requires surgery on a detached retina and is scheduled to be out for two months after his operation.
Agar says the time is right to repair the injury even though the Kiwi’s season could well be over.
“It’s actually been three or four weeks since he picked up the injury but Vince was probably not giving the full symptoms to the Doc which is foolhardy in one sense but credit to him in another,” Agar explained.
“He didn’t realise how serious it was and when the Doc got him checked out he thought there was a problem.
“However, when he went to see a specialist it actually stabilised ok and they gave him the all clear to actually play this weekend. After we got the France game out of the way we decided we needed to get it done as soon as possible and it will be a two month recovery time after the operation.”
There was some good news on the fitness of Dean Collis whilst Agar gave his assessment on the fitness of the rest of the squad.
“Steve Southern will be a couple more weeks while this will probably be the last game Dean Collis misses because of the break next week. Frankie Mariano is having slow progress from an abductor strain but that is pretty much it.
“Lucas Walshaw will come into the reckoning again, he has recovered from the after effects of a bug that he had so I think there will be some qualities that Lucas can bring to the team for a game like Wigan. He has been a really strong, dominant defender for us this year so he will certainly comeback into the mix this week.”
The squad in full is:
Tickets for Sunday’s game – the first in a month at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium – are on sale now with a big away following set to cheer on the cherry and whites, with Wildcats fans being challenged to back the team in their numbers and ensure another great atmosphere.
Tickets can be purchased at the Ridings Centre Store, Rapid Solicitors Stadium Box Office, by calling 01924 201548 or buy online by clicking HERE.
This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.