NEW SIGNING Jarrod Sammut is tough enough to handle whatever his former club Bradford Bulls throw at him, Wakefield Trinity Wildcats coach Richard Agar reckons.
The Aussie signed for Wakefield last Friday after being granted a release from the remainder of his contract at Bradford and is expected to make his debut when the sides meet at Rapid Solicitors Stadium tonight.
Agar insisted there is no ill-feeling between the clubs and said he will have no hesitation in throwing Sammut straight into action after just one training session.
“It all came about fairly quickly,” Agar said. “I nearly signed him when I was coach at Hull, so I am fairly familiar with the qualities he brings.
“It was done quickly and amicably at board level and for me as a coach, after a season of seeing people sold and walking out the door, it is a real boost to have a quality player like Jarrod Sammut coming in.
“It has given everybody a lift and he is the type of character who can handle the situation. It is no reflection on anybody at Bradford, it is down to personal circumstance. He will relish the challenge of coming here and he has got broad enough shoulders to play in this game.”
The clash between two sides tipped as relegation candidates is already being billed as a massive encounter, but Agar stressed: “It is irrelevant what people say. Just like us, Bradford’s players will be the ones who dictate how they go this year – not what the pundits might say. After one or two performances, opinions will change. This game is for two points, just like last week’s game was.”
Agar was encouraged by his team’s performance in their 18-14 defeat at Salford Red Devils, but admitted the short turnaround for Sunday to Thursday wasn’t ideal.
“It is asking a lot from the players,” he said. “I think the scheduling could be looked at so teams playing on a Sunday don’t have to back up on a Thursday, but at least in this case it is the same for both teams.”
Sammut has been named in Wildcats’ squad in place of hamstring injury victim Jimmy Keinhorst. Matt Wildie and Luke Briscoe are on stand-by. Bulls could give a debut to prop Anthony Mullally, who has joined them on loan from Huddersfield Giants after playing 15 games for Batley Bulldogs on dual-registration last year. Tom Olbison is out after suffering concussion in last weekend’s defeat to Castleford, but ex-Wakefield winger/centre Luke George could make his debut and youngster Sam Wood is also in contention.
Wakefield: from Mathers, Fox, Collis, Sammut, Lyne, Sykes, Godinet, Anderson, McShane, Smith, Lauitiiti, Kirmond, Washbrook, Raleigh, Ryan, Tautai, Walshaw, Briscoe, Wildie.
Bradford: from Kearney, Kear, Henry, Purtell, Foster, Gaskell, Gale, Scruton, Diskin, Sidlow, Walker, Addy, Donaldson, Manuokafoa, O’Brien, Bridge, Mullally, George, Wood.
Referee: Robert Hicks (Oldham).
Kick-off: Tonight, 8pm.