Wilkes back in Wakefield contention

Wakefield prop Oliver Wilkes will stake his claim for a place in the team for their Super League opener against Widnes when he features against Batley this weekend.

Wilkes, 31, has been out of action since the turn of the year after having his appendix removed, ruling him out of the pre-season training camp to France.

The former Wigan and Harlequins forward will feature in the final friendly game at Mount Pleasant on Sunday (2pm kick-off), alongside fellow first teamers including Andy Ellis, Kyle Wood, Frankie Mariano, Matty Wildie and Kyle Amor.

The Cumbrian has returned to Wakefield for 2012 having spent the past two seasons at Harlequins since his last spell at Belle Vue.

He started his career with a handful of appearances for Sheffield and Huddersfield, before making his name in National League 1 for Keighley and Leigh.

A brief spell at Whitehaven followed, before he was taken to Wigan during their troubled 2006 season.

Later in that year, he moved on to play for Widnes, featuring for the Vikings in their two Grand Final losses in 2006 and 2007, while also picking up a Northern Rail Cup winners medal.

He impressed enough to earn a Super League deal with Wakefield the following season, and has been a consistent performer in the top flight since, only missing two Super League games in the past four seasons.

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