RECENT ARRIVAL Tyler Randell is relishing doing battle with one of England’s best hookers when Wakefield Trinity face St Helens tonight.
The former Newcastle Knights player is set to make his home debut after an eye-catching first appearance in last week’s sparking 43-18 win at Salford Red Devils – and the prospect of squaring up to former Man of Steel James Roby is adding to his sense of excitement.
“I have followed Super League since I started playing,” said Randell, who has been in this country two weeks.
“I remember watching Bradford Bulls when I first started playing and being excited to get up early to watch games when I was little.
“It was always something I wanted to do, get over here and play in it.
“James Roby has been around a long time and it’s probably fair to say he’s the best hooker in the comp’.
“I have been watching him a number of years and it is a good challenge to play against him.
“Saints have been a top team for a number of years and they are tough to beat, but I am sure we will give it a good crack.”
Randell’s first appearance at Beaumont Legal Stadium, Belle Vue, will be in one of Trinity’s biggest games of the summer era.
A win would lift them three points clear of fifth-placed Wigan Warriors, who face a tough game at Hull tomorrow, with only two rounds remaining in the Betfred Super-8s after this week.
“It’s going to be good to get my home debut,” Randell said.
“The crowd was unreal at an away game so I can’t wait to see what they are like at a home game.
“The Wakefield field is old school so that makes the atmosphere even better and if we get a win it puts us in good shape for the top four.”
If things go well, Randell’s fifth game for Trinity could be a play-off – and the Grand Final is within reach.
“That’s what made my decision to come over here, what they are building towards,” Randell said. “The club is on the rise and it’s good to be part of.”
Randell, who bagged a brace of tries against Salford, reckons Super League will suit his own game.
“It was fast,” he said of his first taste of European rugby.
“It is a free-flowing game and teams want to throw the ball around, which is exciting.
“A few times in the second half I was trying to tell my team to be more patient and calm down, but that’s the nature of the game here and I enjoyed it.
“Hopefully it will bring out my attacking game and give me chance to run the ball a lot more.”
Kyle Wood remains on the casualty list so Wakefield coach Chris Chester will select from an unchanged 19-man squad including the 17 who beat Salford, plus Mason Caton-Brown and James Hasson. Former Wakefield prop Kyle Amor drops out from the Saints team which lost to Wigan last week.
Theo Fages, Matty Lees and Danny Richardson are all in contention for a call into the 17.
Wakefield Trinity: from Grix, Tupou, Lyne, Jones-Bishop, Miller, Finn, England, Ashurst, Kirmond, Arona, Huby, Arundel, Fifita, Hirst, Caton-Brown, Annakin, Hadley, Hasson, Randell.
St Helens: from Lomax, Makinson, Morgan, Percival, Fages, Smith, Walmsley, Roby, Wilkin, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Douglas, Thompson, Peyroux, Knowles, Richardson, Grace, Lees, Taia, Barba.
Referee: Ben Thaler (Wakefield).
Kick-off: Tonight, 8pm.