Wakefield Trinity boss Mark Applegarth gives Luke Gale update ahead of possible debut v Leeds Rhinos

Former Leeds Rhinos skipper Luke Gale is “50-50” to make a Wakefield Trinity debut against his old club on Sunday.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

And Trinity coach Mark Applegarth says young centre Jack Croft has a chance of featuring in the home derby, just a week after being stretchered off and taken to hospital during Wakefield’s Magic Weekend loss to Leigh Leopards.

Gale, who captained Rhinos when they won the Challenge Cup three years ago, joined Trinity from Championship outfit Keighley Cougars at the start of May.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A groin injury delayed his first appearance for Betfred Super League’s bottom club, but he could be included when coach Mark Applegarth names a 21-man squad at noon on Friday.

Luke Gale joined Trinity from Keighley at the start of last month. Picture by John Clifton/SWpix.com.Luke Gale joined Trinity from Keighley at the start of last month. Picture by John Clifton/SWpix.com.
Luke Gale joined Trinity from Keighley at the start of last month. Picture by John Clifton/SWpix.com.

Speaking at his weekly preview press conference today ( Thursday), Applegarth said Gale got through some kicking practice with the other half-backs that morning, but stressed: “It’s more about making sure it is fully healed and he can deal with the game demands that are going to be put on him.”

He said: “We’ll see how he pulls up, he is genuinely 50-50 for this Leeds game. It would be nice to have him, I am desperate to get him on that field.

“I think he will be massive for us in terms of helping steer us around and giving us a bit of composure, but at the same time, he can’t help being injured. We just have to make sure when he gets back on the field he is fully fit.”

Read More
Super League half-term report: grading Leeds Rhinos, St Helens, Warrington Wolve...
Jack Croft is stretchered off the field during Trinity's Magic Weekend defeat by Leigh. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.Jack Croft is stretchered off the field during Trinity's Magic Weekend defeat by Leigh. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.
Jack Croft is stretchered off the field during Trinity's Magic Weekend defeat by Leigh. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Applegarth said Gale is just as keen to get started. He added: “He wants to play in every game.

“He is aware of the situation and thinks he can help massively. I know that, but we have got to be smart and make sure we don’t bring him back, he breaks down and then we are waiting another three or four weeks to get him on the field.”

Croft suffered a neck injury tackling Leigh’s Josh Charnley last Sunday, but could make a remarkable comeback this weekend.

Applegarth said: “He had some scans and has got the all-clear. He is a bit tender, but he has trained all week with us. We are being a bit smart with him in terms of contact, but he is keen to crack on and put himself available for selection.

Wakefield Trinity coach Mark Applegarth. Picture by Ed Sykes/SWpix.com.Wakefield Trinity coach Mark Applegarth. Picture by Ed Sykes/SWpix.com.
Wakefield Trinity coach Mark Applegarth. Picture by Ed Sykes/SWpix.com.
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“He got through training [on Thursday] and we’ll see how he responds to that and how he is on Saturday morning.”

The Trinity boss praised Charnley for his help and admitted: “It is never nice to see those incidents, especially when play is stopped for five or six minutes. You always fear the worst, so it’s good to see a positive outcome.

“I was worried for him and his family. You expect certain injuries playing a collision sport, but it’s never nice to see a stretcher go on.”

Forwards Josh Bowden and Jordan Crowther are both going through the sport’s concussion protocol and won’t play this weekend, Applegarth confirmed.

“We might get as couple of bodies back in, but we’ve still got a few out,” he said.