Wakefield Trinity Wildcats head coach Richard Agar says Kyle Wood is “relishing the chance” to step into the shoes of the injured Tim Smith when Wakefield Wildcats take on Leeds Rhinos on Friday night (kick-off 8pm).
The 23-year-old has shaken off a dead leg suffered in last weekend’s defeat at St Helens to take the no7 shirt for the visit of the champions.
Agar admits Smith’s absence, through a calf injury, is a blow to his side but says Wakefield are lucky to have Wood as back-up.
“If you take Tim Smith out of our team, just as if you take Michael Dobson out of Hull KR or Lee Briers out of Warrington, you are going to lose a bit,” said Agar.
“We are going to miss him but it was something in pre-season we wanted to work on even when he was in the team, we wanted to try and find other outlets.
“Woody has been looking forward to an opportunity to play scrum-half, that’s where we see him.
“He does a fantastic job coming off the bench for us at dummy half to inject some speed in there but his natural position is no7.”
“I think we’re lucky to have a back-up to play seven as good as Kyle, but we will miss Tim.”
Smith, as well as fellow injury absentees Danny Kirmond and Andy Raleigh, are set to return for the Easter matches.