Wildcats boosted by return of Tim Smith

 

Wakefield Trinity hope that their player of the year last season, Tim Smith, will redirect their poor start to this campaign today.

The Wildcats were the surprise side of last year, when, with the Australian half-back at the helm, they defied the odds and reached the Super League play-offs.

A pre-season ankle injury kept Smith out of the opening game at Bradford last week, a crushing 40-6 defeat that Wakefield’s coach, Richard Agar, called the most disappointing performance of his time in charge at  Belle Vue.

Wakefield will also have the consistent forward Andy Raleigh available for his first match of the season against Hull KR today, after recovering from injury.

Rovers have also had their early-season half-back problems, with their new Australian signing, Travis Burns, still having three matches of a suspension to serve. The Robins’ coach, Craig Sandercock, used Lincoln Withers, normally a hooker,  at half-back in last week’s 32-24 loss to the Catalan Dragons. For this match, he has hinted that he might switch the 24-year-old Craig Hall from full-back to the stand-off role.

Sandercock was also bitterly disappointed by his side’s opening day. “We’ve looked at areas we need to improve and we will improve,” he said.

For today’s other match, Salford City Reds will have their own translator for the trip to play the Catalans in Perpignan. The 18-year-old French half-back Theo Fages has impressed in pre-season and in the opening game against Wigan last weekend, and is expected to keep his place in the starting line-up.

At the other end of the age scale, Steve Menzies, 40 this April, opened his account for 2013 with two tries for the Dragons against Hull KR last week.

The Catalans coach, Laurent Frayssinous,  is still without his first choice scrum-half, Scott Dureau, as he recuperates from an eye operation.

Tomorrow, Gareth Hock is in line to make his debut for Widnes, on loan from Wigan, against St Helens – a local derby that has acquired extra significance with Widnes’s opening-day victory in London and Saints’ heavy defeat at the hands of Huddersfield.

Leeds Rhinos, who are at Castleford, had hoped to loan their prop forward, Kylie Leuluai (above), to Hunslet under the dual registration system while he works towards  full fitness.

The UK Borders Agency, however, has ruled that the player’s visa does not allow him to switch clubs.

The Oldham centre, David Cookson, has been suspended for six months after testing positive for a banned stimulant.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee