Cooke to make Dons comeback against Wildcats

Doncaster Rugby League Club will play their last pre-season friendly on Sunday afternoon against Super League club Wakefield Trinity Wildcats at the Keepmoat Stadium (3pm kick-off).

The Wildcats, who were arguably the most improved team in the 2012 Super League competition, are bringing a very strong squad to Doncaster with Tim Smith, Lee Smith and Andy Raleigh the only first grade players missing due to their respective injuries.

The Dons are almost at full strength with new signing Dennis Tuffour the only definite absentee from the squad. Tuffour picked up a leg injury against Keighley last weekend but is hoping to feature in the club’s opening league game against Dewsbury on Sunday 3rd February.

Kyle Kesik will undergo a late fitness test after picking up a knock against the Cougars and Castleford’s dual registration James Clare is set to make his debut for the Dons. Clare has been a regular for the Tigers in their recent pre-season games and will replace Tuffour on the wing.

Paul Cooke, last season’s Championship One player of the year, is set to make his much anticipated comeback after breaking his kneecap against Barrow last September in the play-off semi-final eliminator.

The former Wildcat half back has had a good pre-season and will fill the void left by Bobbie Goulding who will play for his parent club after his impressive debut for the Dons last weekend.

As too will Danny Cowling, who starred for the blue and gold’s at centre last season. Wildcats squad member Lucas Walshaw, who also shone for the Dons in 2012, is currently side-lined with a rib injury but is expected to feature for Tony Miller’s side on a dual registration basis when fit.

Dons’ head coach Miller said: “Wakefield were one of last season’s stand-out performers in Super League and will have their sights set on the play-offs again in 2013.

“We’re expecting a very tough challenge against some big, physical players but it’s a great opportunity for us to see how far we’ve come and for the players to test themselves against some very good full-time professionals.

“I’d like to take the opportunity to thank Richard Agar (Wildcats head coach) and the Wakefield club for their assistance during last season and for the forthcoming season.”

Tickets for this Yorkshire derby are on sale now and prices are as follows: 

Adults – £12
Concessions – £6
Juniors (5-16) – £2
Under 5’s go free


Dons squad:

Michael Butterfield, Stewart Sanderson, Chris Spurr, Lee Waterman, Paul Cooke, Craig Fawcett, Mark Castle, Kyle Kesik, Brooke Broughton, Craig Robinson, Carl Hughes, Mike Emmett, Liam Cunningham, Mike Kelly, Nathan Powley, Grant Edwards, Matt Carbutt, Fran Welsh, Shaun Leaf, Brett Waller, James Clare


Wildcats squad:

Richard Mathers, Peter Fox, Dean Collis, Ben Cockayne, Paul Sykes, Justin Poore, Paul Aiton, Ali Lauitiiti, Danny Kirmond, Danny Washbrook, Kyle Amor, Oliver Wilkes, Frankie Mariano, Kyle Trout, Vince Mellars, Reece Lyne, Matty Wildie, Danny Cowling, Brad Singleton, Isaac John, Bobbie Goulding, Chris Annakin, Liam Kay, Brad Day

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