Written by: Alex Davis
Wakefield play on home turf for the third game in a row as the Wildcats enter the Challenge Cup to play Championship side Sheffield Eagles on Friday night, kick-off at 8pm.
Trinity are in tremendous form in the Super League after winning their last four games on the bounce since Chris Chester’s arrival earlier in the season.
Chester has made five changes to the squad that demolished Wigan Warriors 62-0 last weekend: Captain, Danny Kirmond, Nick Scruton, Reece Lyne, Jonny Molloy and Scott Moore all come out of the squad after featuring heavily over the Easter period for the Wildcats.
Replacing them will be Chris Annakin, Jason Walton, Andy Yates and Craig Hall who will all come back into the squad after watching from the stands in past weeks. Also joining them will be Scott Anderson after the prop was forced to sit out the last few weeks due to injury.
Friday night’s opponents the Sheffield Eagles have had a very mixed start to their Championship campaign. Much has changed in South Yorkshire for the Eagles since Wakefield last lined up against them in the Middle 8s last year.
Their transition to a professional club has made them a strong contender for the Middle 8s for the second year running. The Sheffield club has also moved homes back into the city at the Sheffield Hallam University Sports Park.
The Eagles are coming off the back of a variety of different results. Their previous game was an agonising defeat to Oldham Roughyeds. However Sheffield also gained an impressive victory over Championship high-flyers Bradford Bulls. They currently find themselves in mid table after four wins from their 10 games.
Eagles coach Mark Aston has named an unchanged 19-man squad for Friday night after the defeat to Oldham last Sunday. Mitch Stringer and Dave Hewitt will be pushing for a start after being left out of the starting 17 against the Roughyeds.
The last time these clubs met was in South Yorkshire last season in the Middle 8s competition where the Eagles came out on top 24-10. Wakefield will be hoping for a much happier outing at Belle Vue on Friday.
Wildcats 19-man squad: Scott Anderson, Chris Annakin, Tinirau Arona, Joe Arundel, Matty Ashurst, Anthony England, Liam Finn, Ashley Gibson, Craig Hall, Stuart Howarth, Tom Johnstone, Ben Jones-Bishop, Max Jowitt, Jacob Miller, Mickael Simon, Mikey Sio, Anthony Tupou, Jason Walton, Andy Yates
Eagles 19-man squad: Quentin Laulu Togagae, Rob Worrincy, Menzie Yere, George Tyson, Cory Aston, Steven Thorpe, Keal Carlile, Mitch Stringer, Michaek Knowles, Duane Straugheir, Matt James, Matty Fozard, Adam Neal, Mark Mexico, Elliot Minchella, Jack Blagbrough