SKIPPER Danny Kirmond is expecting a tough climax to a gruelling week of training when Wakefield Wildcats host Featherstone Rovers in their second pre-season trial game on Sunday (kick-off 3pm).
The 27-year-old will face his former club on the back of spending six days with his Wildcats team-mates at an intense warm-weather training camp in Portugal.
The temperatures may be cooler at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium but Kirmond, who will face Rovers for the first time since his departure to Huddersfield Giants in 2007, is expecting a hot encounter with last season’s Championship Grand Finalists.
“It’s a game I’m really looking forward to,” admitted Kirmond.
“I spent some good years at Featherstone and it’ll be the first time that I’ve actually played against them since I left.
“It’ll be a really good test for us because they did really well last season.
“It’s a local derby too so hopefully it’ll be as entertaining for the fans as the Boxing Day match was.”
The Wildcats squad arrived back from Browns Training Camp in Vilamoura, near Faro, on Thursday and will look to put some of their training drills into practice against their Championship neighbours.
Head coach Richard Agar wanted the trip to provide the most intensive week of training in pre-season for his squad and he will be eager to see the results against Daryl Powell’s men.
Wakefield shared the camp with the Nigerian African Cup of Nations squad and went to watch them play in a warm-up match against Cape Verde.
Both head coaches have named strong squads for Sunday’s match.
Brad Singleton is set for his Wildcats debut while Justin Poore and Reece Lyne are expected to make their first run-outs on home soil. Paul Aiton is in-line to make a first home appearance in the red, white and blue since suffering a broken jaw last July.
Kyle Amor, Bobbie Goulding, Frankie Mariano, Lucas Walshaw and Kyle Wood have not been risked.
Hooker Andy Ellis is set to play for Rovers against his former club but prop Matt James, another former Wildcat, will miss out with a knee injury.
See this week’s Wakefield Express for all the latest sports news from around the district.