Wakefield drop Snitch as forward considers move

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The Independent Online

The newly appointed Wakefield coach, Tony Smith, has left Steve Snitch out of his squad to play St Helens tonight, amid fears that the forward could leave the club.

Smith said: "He was offered a contract three weeks ago and turned it down. We would like to keep him, but players have their own decisions to make." Smith, confirmed as Trinity's new man in charge this week after five matches in a caretaker capacity, has left out Snitch, who has been linked with Hull and Bradford, to assess other players who are trying to win contracts.

"I just feel the need to rotate my squad," said Smith, who is wary of his side losing focus now they are clear of relegation but not realistic contenders for the play-offs and added: "There are six or seven players trying for contracts for next season."

Chris Feather is back in the side tonight after six weeks on the sidelines, with Wakefield yet to decide whether they want to turn his loan from Leeds into a permanent signing.

"He wants to play for Wakefield and we will look at him over the rest of the season and decide whether we want to keep him," Smith said. "The club is showing a lot of forward planning and we have to strengthen our squad to make sure we're not in the same position of battling to avoid relegation next season."

Wakefield will be without their captain, Jason Demetriou, for the rest of the season with a dislocated shoulder, while Saints already know that Paul Sculthorpe will not play again this year. Jon Wilkin is his likely replacement at loose forward tonight.

Huddersfield, who are at home to Warrington this evening, have agreed a new, two-year contract with their second-rower, Paul Smith. "Paul is a model professional who has a very good attitude and work ethic," said his coach, Jon Sharp, of the former Swinton and Rochdale player. "His excellent performances and consistency this season have certainly earned this contract extension."

Paul Reilly is back for the Giants, but Warrington have decided against bringing their captain, Lee Briers, back into their squad after he missed last week's defeat by Saints with a thigh injury. Graham Appo is also missing with a damaged shoulder, which is bad timing for the Australian utility player with one overseas player due to be de-registered before the end of the season to make way for the short-term signing of Andrew Johns.