DEWSBURY Rams were given a massive boost this week when Wakefield Trinity Wildcats named a very strong squad to travel to Tetley’s Stadium for Sunday’s key friendly clash (kick off 3pm).
Trinity have named all six of their new signings to face Warren Jowitt’s men, while the likes of star scrum-half Sam Obst, French international Julien Rinaldi and hooker Michael Korkidas are also in the Wildcats’ 20-man squad.
Jowitt sees the Wakefield game, along with next week’s friendly against Bradford Bulls, as crucial to the Rams’ preparations for the league campaign and is looking forward to coming up against a Super League side.
Jowitt said: “It is obviously good for the spectators as, although it is a friendly, they are going to get the chance to see Super League players on show.
“The game also gives my players the chance to come up against quality players.
“Some of the side are good enough to get into a Super League team but may have missed out as clubs have already made their signings but this gives them a chance to show how good they are and it also gives my younger players the chance to play against some of the best players.”
Jowitt will also name a strong side, with Jonny Horton set to start at hooker, possibly up against Rinaldi.
Jowitt admits that the medial ligament injury to first choice hooker Luke Blake, suffered in the warm-up to the Batley Bulldogs match a fortnight ago, has come as a major blow to the Rams but Sunday’s match gives Horton the chance to stake a claim for the hooker role.
Jowitt added: “Luke was one of my key players, especially at hooker, which is a position that I can’t just throw anybody in at.
“Luke is only 20 years old and has hopes of being a success in Super League and we will miss him no doubt.
“I can’t afford to throw a kid in at hooker and hope that he will get things right but we have Jonny Horton to go straight in there.”
With the start of Super League little over a month away, Wakefield will make the short trip to Dewsbury with the likes of newcomers Kevin Penny, Paul Johnson, Chris Dean, Frankie Mariano, Josh Veivers and Stuart Howarth in the squad alongside promising young first teamers Garreth Potts, Russ Spiers and Kyle Trout.
“We are really looking forward to Sunday and testing ourselves against a quality side,” Jowitt added, “We know it will be tough but if we do what we have worked on, we can compete.
“We don’t fear anybody but we will be up against a better calibre of player and better quality, It doesn’t matter whether we win or lose but it is important that we compete and put the plays we have worked on into practise.”
Another familiar face who could be at Tetley’s Stadium on Sunday is former Rams hooker Jimmy Elston, who is now chief executive at the cash strapped Wildcats.
Dewsbury will be hoping for a bumper derby crowd and the fact that Wakefield have named such a strong side, should attract plenty more supporters.
Admission prices are £13 (adults), £7 (concessions) and £2 for Under-16s to stand and £14 (adults) and £9 (concessions and juniors) to sit.
Wakefield Wildcats squad: Kevin Penny, Aaron Murphy, Daryl Millard, Luke George, Sam Obst, Michael Korkidas, Julien Rinaldi, Paul King, Kevin Henderson, Paul Johnson, Chris Dean, Frankie Mariano, Josh Veivers, Stuart Howarth, James Davey, Matthew Wildie, Kieran Hyde, Garreth Potts, Russ Spiers, Kyle Trout.