Both Jason Demetriou and Paul Johnson will make their first appearances for Wakefield this year in the Wildcats’ pre-season friendly fixture against Co-operative Championship One club Hunslet Hawks at the South Leeds Stadium on Sunday (Kick off 3.00pm).
Demetriou did not play in the Cravendale Challenge against Leeds Rhinos on Boxing Day or Wigan Warriors last Sunday because he was completing his rehabilitation programme after close-season knee surgery.
Paul Johnson was signed after being released by Warrington Wolves at the end of the 2009 Super League season and proving his fitness prior to being offered a contract by the Wildcats. He did not play in either of Wakefield’s previous pre-season games.
John Kear, the Wildcats’ Head Coach, said: “This game will give Jason and Paul, together with Paul King and Kyle Bibb, the opportunity to stake their claim for a place in our opening Engage Super League XV game against Harlequins RL at the Twickenham Stoop on Saturday, January 30th.
“Jason’s rehabilitation process has gone well but we didn’t want to rush him while we’ve just been waiting to give Paul his chance to run out.
“Matty Blaymire is still a week away from full fitness and we felt that he needed a few more days of full contact training.”
Demetriou will start the game at loose forward while Johnson will be in the line-up in the second row.
In charge of the team at the South Leeds Stadium will be the Reserve Team Head Coach and Head of Youth performance Tony Drury who said: “This will be an interesting challenge for the players we’ve selected and me.
“Besides playing some of the senior players, we’re also giving a run out to some of the most promising young players on the club’s books.”