Richard Agar has called on his youthful Wakefield Wildcats squad to rise to the occasion when they visit St Helens tonight (kick-off 8pm).
Wakefield’s squad has been decimated by injuries to key players ahead of what was already a tough trip to Langtree Park.
Tim Smith misses out with a calf injury - and is also a doubt for next week’s match against Leeds Rhinos - while Ali Lauitiiti and Justin Poore join skipper Kirmond and Andy Raleigh in the treatment room.
It means young players such as Bobby Goulding and Danny Cowling, who have been on dual registration with Doncaster, have been called up.
And the Wildcats boss hopes the incoming players can take their chance and play their way into his thoughts for more first-team selection this season.
“It’s always a tough challenge going over there and it goes without saying it will be with our most senior players out of the squad,” said Agar.
“It’s quite unusual not to have injuries, every team is going to come across periods during the year where they get injuries. In the second half of last year we didn’t have too many injuries at all so we’ve had a pretty good run with it.
“We’ve not got the biggest squad and to get who we would view as our five most senior and experienced players out of the team in one go is quite an unusual situation.
“But it’s one we’re faced with and within it I’m sure there’s going to be some opportunity for some other people to really stand up and be counted at this moment.”
Agar added: “I’ve seen this many times. I’ve seen teams go out there with an understrength team and it really brings the best out in people, and brings the fighter out in them, and that’s what I’m wanting from my squad this week.”
The relatively short turnaround in matches did not help the cause of Lauitiiti and Poore and Agar did not want to risk players ahead of the busy up-coming Easter period.
“I’m not rushing people back and patching them up and getting them out there,” he said.
“We’ve probably done that for the last couple of weeks with a couple of players and we’ve just got concerns that if we do send some players out there with question marks over them then we’ll lose them over what’s coming up to be a critical period.”
Squad: Mathers, Fox, Collis, L Smith, Cockayne, Sykes, Aiton, Washbrook, Wood, Amor, Wilkes, Mariano, Trout, Mellars, Lyne, Wildie, Cowling, Goulding, Annakin.