STAR SIGNING Ben Jones-Bishop could make his Wakefield Trinity Wildcats debut against his old club Leeds Rhinos in this year’s newly-sponsored Christmas game.
Jones-Bishop has joined Wakefield on a one-year deal, after just a season at Salford Red Devils. Wildcats will begin their pre-season campaign in the Wetherby Whaler Festive Challenge at Headingley, which will kick-off at 11.30am on Boxing Day.
The 27-year-old scored 56 tries in 83 appearances for Rhinos from 2008-2014. He also touched down 11 times in 18 games on loan for Harlequins in 2010 and crossed 16 times during 25 matches for Salford this year.
He said: “I am very excited about the challenge that lies ahead at Wakefield and playing a role in helping the club build for the future. I am also looking forward to developing and improving areas of my game working under Brian Smith.”
Smith, Wildcats’ coach, believes Jones-Bishop will boost their try-scoring options. He said: “Personally, I can’t wait to start working on the attacking combinations for Ben with players like Anthony Tupou with his offloads, Jacob Miller’s stepping breaks and the crafty passes and kicks of Liam Finn.”
Wetherby Whaler, founded in Tadcaster in 1969, have taken over from Tetley’s as new title backers for the Boxing Day game and already sponsor Rhinos prop Brad Singleton and winger Tom Briscoe.
Junior tickets for the traditional derby cost £5 when bought in advance and family tickets will be available – until Christmas Eve – for £40. Rhinos and Wakefield members can save £3 on the matchday admission price if they purchase before 1pm on Christmas Eve.
Leeds members have until 5pm on Monday, December 7, to purchase their regular seat. Matchday admission prices in seated areas will be £23 adults, £16 concessions and £10 for under-16s and £18 adults, £13 concessions and £10 juniors to stand.
Australian hooker Beau Falloon is due to make his Rhinos debut and he said: “I am really looking forward to it. I have been told about the tradition surrounding the game and I can’t wait to pull on a Rhinos shirt.”