Preview: Harlequins v Wakefield

Wakefield will hand debuts to no fewer than seven new signings in their opening Super League game against Harlequins on Saturday.

Their squad includes Australian imports Shane Tronc and Daryl Millard, as well as former Bradford trio Glenn Morrison, Terry Newton and Ben Jeffries.

Paul Johnson, who featured against Hunslet last week, and Paul King are also in the squad having joined the club from Warrington and Hull respectively.

Meanwhile, captain Jason Demetriou could return to competitive action after making his comeback from knee surgery in last weekend’s friendly victory over Hunslet.

Boss John Kear said: “With the exception of winger Damien Blanch who is still recovering from the hand injury he sustained in the Cravendale Challenge against Leeds Rhinos on Boxing Day this is a full strength Wildcats squad.

Jason Demetriou is a true professional and I wouldn’t have included him unless I was convinced that he had proved his fitness. As our captain he’s important to us and I’ve every faith in him.” 

“We’ve worked hard through the pre-season training programme and our three pre-season friendly games. Now the boys just want to play and I’m happy that they’re in the right mood to acquit themselves well at Harlequins RL.”

For Harlequins, second rower Oliver Wilkes is set to face his former club after being named in Brian McDermott’s squad alongside fellow new signings Matt James and Ben Jones-Bishop.

Also named in the squad is 20-year-old back rower Ben Bolger who could make his Super League debut against the Wildcats.

Bolger only began playing rugby league at the age of 15 and has rapidly progressed through the Harlequins academy system. In 2009 he was named ‘Reserves Player of the Year’ at the club’s end of season awards and has also represented London and the South.

McDermott said: “Ben Bolger is another of our young Londoners who has worked very hard throughout our youth development system to earn a shot at Super League.

“He had a great season in the reserves last year and was solid in our victory over London Skolars last week.

“Similarly, Ben Jones-Bishop, Oliver Wilkes and Matt James have got a really good understanding of what we’re trying to achieve both offensively and defensively and have fitted really well into our squad.”

Harlequins Squad: Ben Bolger, Tony Clubb, Ryan Esders, Luke Gale, Jason Golden, David Howell, Matt James, Ben Jones-Bishop, Ben Kaye, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Chris Melling, Jamie O’Callaghan, Danny Orr, Chad Randall, Will Sharp, Danny Ward, Oliver Wilkes, Dave Williams, Luke Williamson

Wakefield Squad: Sean Gleeson, Daryl Millard, Luke George, Ben Jeffries, Danny Brough, Shane Tronc, Terry Newton, Michael Korkidas, Dale Ferguson, Glenn Morrison, Jason Demetriou, Sam Obst, Paul Johnson, Kevin Henderson, Aaron Murphy, Paul King, Tevita Leo-Latu, Dale Morton, Richard Moore.

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