Wakefield v Catalans Dragons - Ryan Hampshire facing six-weeks out with fractured jaw but key trio to return against Leeds Rhinos
Wakefield Trinity will be without Ryan Hampshire for six weeks as he recovers from a fractured jaw suffered against Hull last Friday.
But coach Chris Chester has confirmed Max Jowitt, who had to leave the field after a high tackle seven days ago, has been cleared to play against Catalans Dragons tomorrow (Friday) and loan signings Olly Ashall-Bott and Josh Eaves will also feature.
Hampshire took over from injured captain Jacob Miller at stand-off last week, so Jowitt is likely to fill in there against the French visitors, with Ashall-Bott at full-back.
Chester said: “Rocky [Hampshire] has a displaced fracture in his jaw.
“He doesn’t need surgery and it’s a six-week return.
“It’s disappointing and we’ve had to bring in some personnel to give us a little bit of depth there.”
Chester said Jowitt was taken off last week as a “precaution”.
And he added: “I was really disappointed there was no video replay at the game for my medical people to review the incident.
“That’s something we will take up with the RFL.
“The rules are quite clear there should be a pitchside video for any kind of head knock.
“We didn’t have anything available to us, but Max will play this week.
“Max and Olly will be the full-back and No 6.”
Ashall-Bott, who has played in Betfred Super League for Widnes Vikings and Salford Red Devils, is on a two-week loan from Huddersfeld Giants.
Hooker Eaves had been brought in from St Helens on a similar deal, and Chester said: “They are guys with some points to prove, two really good players.
“We spoke to Olly’s agent halfway through last seasaon so he has been on our radar; he has electric pace and a really good passing game.
“Josh is finding opportunities at Saints a bit limited, with the game’s best No 9 in front of him.
“He will get a go this week; we haven’t brought him in to just train.”
Chester revealed injured trio Matty Ashurst, Jacob Miller and Tom Johnstone could all be in contention to face Leeds Rhinos in two weeks’ time.
“We expect Matty to be available and we’re hopeful of Milky [Miller] as well,” he said.
“Tom Johnstone will be there or thereabouts for the Leeds games as well.”
Tomorrow's behind-closed-doors match is Trinity’s first at Mobile Rocket Stadium, Belle Vue, since November 1 last year.
Wakefield are searching for their first win of the campaign, against a Catalans outfit on the back of their initial defeat.
“It’s great, it gives you that edge, that psychological advantage,” Chester said of being at home. Nobody likes to come and play at Wakefield. I am sure [Dragons stand-off] James Maloney will be really looking forward to getting dressed in our away sheds. It will be a real eye-opener for those kind of guys and we will use our ground to our advantage.”
Bill Tupou and Innes Senior are also in contention for Trinity, along with Sam Eseh.
Jack Croft, an unused member of last week’s 21, has joined Oldham on loan and Ollie Greensmith is training with Doncaster ahead of a potential similar move.
Wakefield Trinity: from Jowitt, Tupou, Lyne, Kay, Lino, Fifita, K Wood, Arona, Tanginoa, Westerman, Pitts, Battye, Batchelor, Green, Senior, Crowther, Arundel, Kershaw, Ashall-Bott, Eaves, Eseh.
Catalans Dragons: from Mourgue, Davies, Langi, Whare, Yaha, Maloney, Drinkwater, Dudson, McIlorum, Bousquet, McMeeken, Garcia, Da Costa, Seguier, Laguerre, J Tomkins, Chan, Kasiano, S Tomkins, Dezaria.
Referee: Chris Kendall (Huddersfield).
Kick-off: Friday, 6pm.