Luke Gale in contention to make Wakefield Trinity debut against his former club Hull
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However, after a full week’s training he has now been selected in Trinity’s 21-man squad to face Hull FC at the Be Well Support Stadium and if selected he will have a point to prove after a disappointing year with the Black & Whites in 2022.
Applegarth admits he has a big decision on whether to go with Gale after being impressed with the performance of Morgan Smith and Mason Lino in the halves last week.
He explained: “He has been great for the group. He has been training hard and he obviously looks after himself.
“He got himself into the game and scored a lovely, well-deserved try, supporting a break off Jai Whitebread.
“As a coach you pick off performance and if I am going off that word, you might see Morgan and Mason out there, but it could be Luke as well.
“It would have a bit of extra meaning (for Gale), but it's a bigger game than Luke Gale and Hull. It's about the team and he'd be the first one to put his hand up and say that.”
Trinity also have winger Tom Lineham and centre Samisoni Langi back, but will be without another of their versatile players in Liam Kay following his a head injury from the Warrington game.
Prop Kevin Proctor will be able to play after he escaped a ban despite being sent-off in the 32-18 defeat at the Halliwell Jones Stadium following a high tackle on Josh Thewlis.
The former New Zealand international was fined £250, but no suspension was deemed necessary and it has been described as a “common sense” decision by Applegarth.
He said: “I don’t think there was any malice in it, it’s not one where he has gone with any intent to hit someone high.
“It was a red card offence, in my opinion. The match review panel said it was a reckless high tackle, as it was and I think it got what it deserved, which is sending off sufficient.”
Applegarth saw the sending off as the key moment of the Warrington game, but he was encouraged by the display of his team.
He added: “I was proud of the performance, it was a gutsy effort and they have kept on fighting until the end against one of the contenders in difficult circumstances.
"Warrington got off to a fast start going 12-0 up but our lads fronted up really well and fought their way back into the game and it was an even game at half-time.
"Now we have a few bodies back you can see the spirit in the squad and there’s plenty of positives to take out of the performance.”
Next opponents Hull recently lost seven games in a row, but have snapped out of that run with wins over Huddersfield Giants and Wigan Warriors to move clear of the bottom two.