Wakefield Trinity Wildcats: Kirmond relishing Giants reunion as Cats add Fifita

Chris Chester
Chris Chester
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IT may seem a “lifetime ago” since he left Huddersfield Giants but Wakefield Trinity captain Danny Kirmond admits it still remains a special occasion playing them.

He returns from a one-game ban tomorrow to bolster his side – who have also signed Tonga prop forward David Fifita from Cronulla Sharks – when they head to John Smith’s Stadium.

Kirmond has developed into one of Super League’s leading players after leaving Huddersfield for Trinity in 2012 following a previous loan spell two years earlier.

“That is probably a lifetime in rugby league to some people,” he joked.

“It’s been five and a half years now which is a long time.

“But the club still means a lot to me; they gave me my chance in Super League when I left Featherstone Rovers.

“That means it’s always that bit more special playing against them and I’m looking forward to Sunday especially after missing last week for something as silly as tripping.”

The player who went the other way in that deal, of course, was Danny Brough, the Wakefield scrum-half who Huddersfield paid a substantial fee for as well as throwing in Kirmond and Michael Korkidas.

Brough – hoping to return from a dead leg tomorrow – has more than been worth the investment, leading Giants to the 2013 League Leaders’ Shield, even if they are now struggling near the bottom.

Kirmond, 30, played alongside him at Trinity and said: “Obviously, Broughy is a real talisman for them.

“I think his kicking game gets them out of trouble really well and you can see he’s playing like he was a few years ago when in Man of Steel form.

“He’s taking on the line and scoring tries from all over the field so we’ll need to definitely watch him.”

Wakefield are eager to atone after last week’s embarrassing 54-16 home defeat to Hull KR – a second defeat in a row after Chris Chester had won 10 of his first 11 games in charge.

Fifita, 26, is does not debut tomorrow but could feature against Leeds Rhinos next Friday as he joins former Cronulla team-mates Anthony Tupou and Tinirau Arona at Belle Vue until the end of the season, with an option for 2017.

“It is a massive signing for the club,” said Chester.

“As a player we monitored closely over the last six to eight weeks, we know he will bring some real punch and aggression to the team which is something we have lacked over recent weeks.

“I am looking forward to working with David over the coming months.

“I would like to take my time to thank Phil Moss and the Cronulla board for releasing David half way through the season.”

Fifita, whose twin brother Andrew is a New South Wales player, has made 19 NRL appearances since joining the Sharks from French club Lezignan in 2014, but has played just twice this season.

Former Leeds Rhinos pair Ben Jones-Bishop and Andy Yates are back from injury tomorrow but Mickael Simon and Tupou drop out with slight knocks and Jonny Molloy also misses the cut in Chester’s 19-man squad.

John Kear, left, and Chris Chester

Wakefield Trinity: Chester’s in no hurry to replace Kear on his staff