Wakefield Wildcats willing to offer French pair a first team chance

John Kear.

John Kear.

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FRENCH duo Stanislas Robin and Samy Masselot could be given a chance to show what they can do in Engage Super League this season, Wakefield Trinity Wildcats coach John Kear has confirmed.

The Villeneuve half-back and prop/second-row have joined Wildcats on trial, after being recommended by their former team-mate Julien Rinaldi.

“I’ve been very impressed with what I have seen up to now – they have played great in the 9s,” said Kear, who could offer the pair to a Co-op Championship club on dual-registration. They are on our register for this season and there’s a strong possibility they could play in the first team.”

But under-20s back-rower Chris Annakin’s prospects of a senior call-up have been delayed by a shoulder injury suffered playing in the 9s.

“It’s a shame, because he wasn’t far away,” Kear said.

“He’s improving as a player in the reserves and I fully intended playing him in the first team within the next month or so, but he will have to wait now.”

Kear confirmed he is “certainly interested” in signing Leeds Rhinos prop Luke Burgess, who has been told he can go out on loan until his contract expires this autumn, but he has yet to discuss the financial implications with chief executive James Elston.

“He is a really good player,” said Kear.

“I don’t think there’ll just be us interested.”

Meanwhile Wildcats have been challenged to build on last week’s outstanding win over Huddersfield Giants when they visit Twickenham Stoop to take on Harlequins tomorrow.

“We were really good last week,” said Kear. “It was a very committed, hard working and smart performance.

“We have got to play well and if we do, we will have a good chance of winning.

“It needs to be a similar performance to last week.

“This week is a really important for us, because if we win we will go above Harlequins in the table.

“But they are a good team - and every game that goes by, they are one nearer a win. Let’s just hope it’s not this week.”

Rinaldi (shoulder) and Tommy Lee (hamstring) could return after missing last weekend’s game through injury, but captain Glenn Morrison suffered a dead leg against Huddersfield and is ruled out. Chris Dean, who wasn’t selected on Sunday, is also in contention.

Kear said: “The vast majority will retain their place.

“There’s going to be one change with Glenn being out and that may impact on another as well, but we are still considering that.

“It’s a nasty dead leg and we’re not going to risk him, because he is important to us. We are still debating what we are going to do with Julien this week.

“Jimmy Davey was really good last week and so was Matty Wildie.

“Combined, they did 50-odd tackles, didn’t miss one and carried the ball very effectively, the service from dummy-half was good and they kicked well.

“But Julien is very experienced and we’ve lost Glenn’s experience in the pack.”

For Quins, who haven’t won in the league since March, former Leeds Academy and Featherstone Rovers stand-off Kyle Briggs could make his debut on loan from Bradford and Luke Dorn is available after injury.

Nick Kouparitsas, Lee Mitchell and Rob Thomas may also feature, but Mark Calderwood, David Williams and Lamont Bryan drop out from the side beaten at Hull last week.

Harlequins: from Dorn, Riley, Clubb, O’Callaghan, Melling, Briggs, Gale, Temata, Randall, Ward, Burnett, Wilkes, Krasniqi, Bailey, Ambler, Ellis, Kouparitsas, Mitchell, Thomas.

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats: from Tony, Morton, George, Murphy, Griffin, Moore, Smith, Korkidas, Davey, Amor, Mariano, Johnson, Henderson, Hickey, Wildie, Higgins, Rinaldi, Lee, Dean.

Referee: Robert Hicks (Oldham).

Kick-off: Saturday, 3pm.

Wakefield Trinity head of rugby, John Kear. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

‘Massive’ game ahead for Wakefield Trinity says John Kear