RELEGATION-THREATENED Wakefield Trinity Wildcats will face Halifax tomorrow without four key players due to off-field issues.
Full-back Kevin Locke, centre Reece Lyne and half-back Tim Smith have all been left out of Wildcats’ initial 19-man squad for Saturday’s game following a police incident in Brough, East Yorkshire, last Sunday.
Smith was arrested and has been charged with driving without due care and attention and with failing to provide a specimen for analysis.
The club announced on Monday they were conducting their own investigation and chairman Michael Carter said: “That has been ongoing all of this week.
“We are hoping we will be able to make a further comment, probably on Monday, so we can get Saturday’s game out of the way first.”
Prop Scott Anderson has also been left out of the squad to face Halifax. His omission also relates to a disciplinary matter, but it is understood he was not involved in the incident in Brough.
All four players featured in last Saturday’s 46-4 home defeat by Widnes Vikings. Coach Brian Smith said: “There’s been a couple of things that have happened that require the club to deal with so those players have not been selected for this game.”
Wildcats are fourth in the Kingstone Press Qualifiers with two matches remaining. The top-three will secure a place in Super League next year, with fourth taking on fifth in the million pound match to decide the final spot.
Wildcats are four points behind third-placed Salford, ahead of Bradford Bulls on for and against and two points clear of Leigh Centurions, Halifax and Sheffield Eagles.
The defeat by Widnes has piled pressure on Wildcats and Carter has urged supporters to put this week’s problems to one side and get behind the team tomorrow.
“The next two games are huge,” he said. “If we aren’t all pulling in the same direction it will diminish our chances further. Halifax are coming off the back of a really good win against Leigh last weekend and I was impressed with them when we played them in the Challenge Cup.
“They were a real attacking threat in that game, they throw the ball around and Richard Marshall has got them playing well. It will be a really tough game for us, but we need to win.
Carter added: “There’s a lot of talk about points difference, but forget that – we just need to win the game.
“We all know last Saturday was a massive disappointment and let-down. We have got to get our heads on and concentrate on the game.”
Jacob Miller has signed a new two-year deal with Trinity.
The 23-year-old joined the club from Hull FC in 2014 on an initial one-year contract and has scored 15 tries in the 26 appearances.