Double injury blow for Wakefield Trinity ahead of Super League home opener against St Helens

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Wakefield Trinity have been hit with a double injury blow ahead of their opening Super League home game against St Helens.

Tyler Randell is expected to be out for at least eight weeks, as he requires surgery on his shoulder.

Second-rower James Batchelor is believed to have an infection in his knee and it is currently unclear how long he will be sidelined for.

“Tyler Randell is going for surgery on Monday,” confirmed head coach Chris Chester.

“James Batchelor is struggling with a knee and he has been to hospital.

“His knee has just ballooned up, there is some kind of infection in there.

“Whether that is from the 4G pitch [at London] or not, I am not too sure.”

Randell’s injury has been an ongoing concern for the 26-year-old Australian.

“It has been an ongoing thing that we have kind of just managed through,” added Chester.

“He has had a couple of injections in there, but the more injections he keeps having, I think it wears off after a week or two weeks. He is just in so much discomfort that we decided to bite the bullet and get it [surgery] done now.

“I think he will miss between eight and 12 weeks, but we are hoping eight weeks. We are hoping he only misses seven games, so it is only a quarter of the season.

“It is better to get it done now rather than worry about it down the line when the important games come around.”

Chester said that he will still be considering other changes to his 19-man squad, which is due to be announced later today.

He continued: “There is a couple of other things I need to look at before I make a decision.

“With the interchanges as they are [reduced from 10 to eight], it is tough.

“You need both your hooker and your back-rowers to play 80 minutes and then just rotate your forwards.

“But we have been running with two nines, we have only got one nine now and it is whether I put another big fella on the bench or someone who can fill in a number of positions.”

“I know that Jordan Crowther can play nine at a push, but I am also hopeful that Kyle Wood can play 80 minutes.”

Trinity welcome St Helens to Belle Vue this weekend, hoping to improve their home record against last season’s League Leaders’ Shield winners.

Saints have won four of their last five matches at Wakefield and started their Super League campaign with a 22-12 win over rivals Wigan Warriors.

“They still play to similar structures to what they did last we know what they are going to throw at us,” added Chester.

“Our contact has got to be really, really good and it has certainly got to be better than it was last week.”

St Helens captain James Roby recently extended his deal with the former Super League champions and Chester says he will be one of the visitors’ main threats on Sunday.

He said: “He is a guy that makes them tick and he just seems to get better with age.

“I was fortunate, or unfortunate enough to play against him at the end of my career.

“I think the way you stop people like James Roby is to be physical with their big blokes.

“If you stop that roll on, then you can take him out of the game.

“Again, it is all about physicality, if we stop their go forward then it takes James Roby’s running game away.

“That is something that we have worked hard on in training this week. It is a massive test for us, I thought we got a bit out-muscled last week.”