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?
News
people
Life and Style
President Obama, one of the more enthusiastic users of the fist bump
science
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
tv
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
News
Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders were pictured embracing in 2012
people
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

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried