Kear warns Hull to be wary of Warrington backlash

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The Independent Online

The Hull coach, John Kear, has told his players to ignore Warrington's poor start to the season when they meet tonight.

"I've told them that it's like against like," he said. "We're a top-six side and so are they. This has just been a blip in their progress, caused more by individual errors than anything." Kear, who has Richard Swain back, insists that he has not been distracted by rumours this week linking Brian Smith with a return to the club next season.

"If I carry on doing my job and winning games, it's not an issue," he said. "I'm confident I'll have a job next season. I hope it's at Hull." Warrington have Chris Leikvoll and Mark Hilton back to beef up their pack, but are still without Paul Rauhihi and Rob Parker.

After their attendance of more than 11,000 for the visit of St Helens for their first game back at The Stoop, this afternoon's game against Wakefield will be a better test of Harlequins' crowd-pulling potential. Following the morale-boosting draw at Bradford last week, Tony Rea has Tyrone Smith and Mark McLinden back in his squad after injury, but Luke Dorn is still out.

Wakefield have Tom Saxton in their party as he starts his month's loan from Hull and he is likely to make his debut at full-back.

For the one Super League match tomorrow, the Catalan Dragons have the former Wigan and Warrington forward Jerome Guisset taking over as captain from the injured Stacey Jones at Castleford. Julien Rinaldi is fit, but the Dragons leave him at hooker and move Laurent Frayssinous from full-back to scrum-half, the position he has played for the French national side.

The club's newly-appointed coach, Mick Potter, will have a video of the match sent to him in Australia as he prepares to take over next month. Potter admits he would rather be taking over a side with a fit Jones at the helm. "Stacey is irreplaceable for some of the things he can do," he said. "But it's an opportunity for someone else to step up and show skill."

Cas are without Danny Ward, who has knee ligament trouble, as they look for their first Super League victory in what their coach, Terry Matterson, calls "a huge game for us".

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