KIWI pivot Jeremy Smith has been cleared to make his Wakefield Trinity Wildcats debut on Sunday – at home to his former club Salford City Reds.
Smith – who can play at stand-off or scrum-half – has finally received his visa and his registration has been accepted by the RFL.
The red tape hold-up meant Smith, 29, missed Wildcats’ pre-season games and their opening two Engage Super League fixtures.
“It has been a long process,” he said. “But we are there now, so it is really exciting. We are two games in, we got a good win at Catalan last week so that is something to build on and it’s good to be coming into the team.”
Smith said he hasn’t thought too much about facing his old side, but he added: “I might do as it gets closer to the game.
“It is just good to be back. Hopefully I can play well, that’s the main thing I am trying to do.”
Smith is one of several overseas players to suffer a delay in receiving a new visa after moving clubs in the off-season.
“It has been frustrating,” he said. “You scratch your head wondering how some people can leap-frog you, but it is just one of those things.
“It is out of your hands. You’ve just got to battle through it and it is done now, fortunately. Hopefully I can get in there and be part of the team.”
Reds have lost their opening two games and Smith observed: “They are going through a bit of a rough trot at the moment.
“But they have got all the ingredients there. They have got good players and I would expect them to be a different team on Sunday – we are expecting a very hard game.”
Wakefield will be without stand-off Kieran Hyde (hamstring) for Sunday’s match.
lThierry Alibert will become the first Frenchman to referee the World Club Challenge when he takes charge of Sunday’s clash between Wigan and St George Illawarra at the DW Stadium.
The 30-year-old Alibert, who is a full-time member of the Engage Super League refereeing panel, has officiated at two World Cups as well as the 2009 Four Nations.