THREE FORMER Leeds Rhinos players are set to make their first appearance for Wakefield Trinity Wildcats against their old club on Boxing Day.
Wildcats coach Richard Agar has included hooker Paul McShane and props Richard Moore and Daniel Smith in a provisional squad for the Heatshot Festive Challenge at Headingley Carnegie.
Hooker McShane joined Wildcats last month and will go head-to-head with Leeds No 9 Paul Aiton, who made the opposite journey and is in line for his Rhinos debut. Moore is set to begin his second spell at Wildcats after being released from his contract following a two-year stint at Rhinos.
And Smith, who came through Rhinos’ academy system before spending last season in Australia, will also be up against his former team.
Agar has named his strongest-available side, but will be without Australians Scott Anderson and Matt Ryan.
“It’s highly unlikely either of them will be here before Christmas,” said Agar. “We’re aiming for January 1 with Scott and Matt will be a few days later.”
The Wakefield coach revealed Wildcats have several more recruits in the pipeline and one of the signings could be completed this week.
Agar said there is no truth in rumours linking Catalan Dragons half-back Thomas Bosc, former Leeds outside-back Joe Vickery or Samoa scrum-half Ben Roberts to Wildcats. Wakefield are, though, interested in Leeds’ German international Jimmy Keinhorst on a season-loan.
Wildcats’ line-up includes only one player without first team experience. Winger Tom Johnstone, 18, was born in Germany, went to school in Pudsey and played his junior rugby at Stanningley.
Paul Sykes, who missed the final seven games of last season after breaking a leg, is poised to make his playing comeback at stand off.
Wildcats’ Boxing Day squad: Mathers, Fox, L Smith, Lyne, Johnstone, Sykes, Wildie, Tautai, McShane, Moore, Walshaw, Kirmond, Trout. Subs Goulding, Washbrook, Lauitiiti, Shulver, D Smith, Annakin.