Wildcats head coach Richard Agar has named his 19-man squad to take on St. Helens on Friday evening (kick-off 8pm) at Langtree Park which includes five additions from the team that faced Salford on Sunday.
Reece Lyne and Kyle Amor are expected to return for the Wildcats while Matty Wildie, Danny Cowling and Bobbie Goulding are also included following a host of injuries.
Tim Smith, Justin Poore and Ali Lauitiiti join Andy Raleigh and captain Danny Kirmond in the treatment room after the bruising 23-23 draw with the City Reds.
Agar will take his youthful side across the Pennines looking for an improved performance against Saints who are yet to win on home turf this campaign. The Wildcats boss explains the latest news on the injury situation:
“It will test our squad fully,” admitted Agar.
“We’ve been carrying one or two little bumps and knocks for a couple of weeks now and Easter is on the horizon and I think we’ve patched a couple of blokes up for the odd week too long. I think it’s important that we have that balance between patching them up and that risk of a longer term injury.
“The shorter turnaround has got us this week because we’ve lost that extra couple of days that would genuinely have helped us in a couple of instances to get people back and on the field. Having said that, in the bulk of the cases this week the players simply aren’t fit.
“You play the cards your dealt and we’ll send our strongest squad over there.
“The positive out of it is some guys are going to continue to get good experiences which is only going to help us in the long term. Meanwhile, some guys that have been on the periphery sat waiting patiently for a chance are going to get that chance.
“We’re hoping that youthful enthusiasm combined with some guys that are wanting to make stronger claims for a place in the team will give us a performance that is full of passion, spirit and commitment.
“Timmy (Smith) has a calf injury and an eye infection that would rule him out this week. Poorey (Justin) and Ali (Lauitiiti) would probably expect them to only be a week but at this stage it’s only very early days since Sunday, so we’re not sure. We are hoping to get Kirmond and Raleigh back for Easter.
“I suppose every team gets injuries and how we cope with those injuries is the key and it tests your squad. You only have to look at the calibre of players that have copped a hit at once which has undoubtedly robbed us of some of our best players all at the same time. It is difficult to contend with but we’ll get on with the job and give it our best shot.”
The squad in full:
1. Richard MATHERS
2. Peter FOX
3. Dean COLLIS
4. Lee SMITH
5. Ben COCKAYNE
6. Paul SYKES
9. Paul AITON
13. Danny WASHBROOK
14. Kyle WOOD
15. Kyle AMOR
16. Oliver WILKES
17. Frankie MARIANO
18. Kyle TROUT
19. Vince MELLARS
20. Reece LYNE
21. Matty WILDIE
22. Danny COWLING
26. Bobbie GOULDING
27. Chris ANNAKIN
Lucas Walshaw is once again expected to play in the Kingstone Press Championship this Sunday as Dewsbury Rams face the Leigh Centurions at the Tetley’s Stadium.
Tickets are still available for the trip to Langtree Park from the Wildcats retail outlets until the close of business tomorrow (Thursday). Adults are charged at £21, concessions £15, juniors £10 while under 5’s gain access for free.
Help cheer Agar’s men on in Merseyside by purchasing your ticket from the Rapid Solicitors Stadium Box Office, Ridings Centre, Trinity Walk or by calling 01924 201548.
This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.