Former Leeds Rhinos trialist set for Wakefield Trinity debut against Wigan Warriors

Former Leeds Rhinos trialist Kyle Evans could make his Betfred Super League debut when Wakefield Trinity play host to Wigan Warriors this weekend.
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The Welshman trained with Rhinos two years ago, but the coronavirus lockdown wrecked his hopes of securing a contract.

Evans was recommended to Rhinos by Francis Cummins - now Wakefield’s assistant-boss - who coached him at rugby union club Doncaster Knights.

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After impressing as a trialist in Trinity’s reserves, Evans this week signed a contract until the end of the season and has been named in the initial squad for Sunday.

Kye Evans training with Rhinos in 2020. Picture by Bruve Rollinson.Kye Evans training with Rhinos in 2020. Picture by Bruve Rollinson.
Kye Evans training with Rhinos in 2020. Picture by Bruve Rollinson.

Trinity boss Willie Poching said Cummins had described Evans as a “rugby league player who had never played rugby league”.

He said: “I didn’t understand what he meant until he came and trained with us.

“He has just got one speed, which is full-go. He loves the collision and he’s a fantastic kid.

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“When I’ve spoken to him about rugby league, it is one of his regrets that he didn’t come across earlier.

“He has been great for our reserve grade -I think he’s scored seven tries in three games - and he is picking up the game every session and every day he comes in.

“He is taking every bit of information from the coaches and senior players and he has given himself a chance to take the field on Sunday.”

Winger Tom Lineham has been dropped following last week’s 74-10 drubbing at Salford Red Devils, along with centre Thomas Minns.

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Max Jowitt, Tinirau Arona, Yusuf Aydin, Harry Bowes and Corey Hall are all vying for a recall.

Poching revealed he had a “tough conversation” with Lineham earlier this week.

“Tom understands he is out of form at the moment,” Poching said.

“There’s some areas we need to work on with him.

“We want Tom to find some of the stuff we brought him into the club to do, carry strong, carry big and get involved.

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“We’ve got to work hard with him and it’s my job as coach to help him get out of the rut he finds himself in.”

Poching admitted Trinity owe “everyone associated with the club” a performance after last week’s humiliation.

“That result and performance was a real kick in the teeth,” he conceded.

“It has been getting back down to it and working hard again and we’ve had some really good days preparing for this game so we can show what we are really about.”

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Wigan coach Matt Peet will select from an unchanged 21, including the 17 players who beat Toulouse Olympique last week, plus Thomas Leuluai, John Bateman, Oliver Partington and Sam Halsall.

Wakefield Trinity: from Jowitt, Miller, Lino, Battye, Hood, Arona, Ashurst, Tanginoa, Pitts, Crowther, Whitbread, Batchelor, Gaskell, Croft, Aydin, Bowes, Murphy, Hall, Butler, Fifita, Evans.

Wigan Warriors: from French, Bibby, Marshall, Leuluai, Singleton, Powell, Mago, Isa, Farrell, Bateman, Ellis, Smith, Partington, Havard, Byrne, Pearce-Paul, Shorrocks, Field, Miski, Halsall, O’Neill.

Referee: Chris Kendall (Huddersfield).

Kick-off: Sunday, 3pm.