Willie Poching backs Wakefield duo to follow up impressive Perpignan displays

Drew Darbyshire
Willie Poching Wakefield SWpix

Photo: Allan McKenzie / SWpix

Wakefield coach Willie Poching has backed versatile duo James Batchelor and Harry Bowes to follow up their impressive performances last week.

Hooker Bowes and forward Batchelor were forced to play out of position in last Saturday’s 24-22 defeat at Catalans Dragons.

Bowes played half-back and Batchelor played centre but the duo enjoyed strong performances in the south of France.

Wakefield face a tough trip to St Helens on Friday night, and the pair are expected to play in their preferred positions.

Poching said: “We had some makeshift players out of position last week. They did a commendable job. I speak of Harry Bowes who had to play out of position in the halves and James Batchelor who had to fill in at centre.

“Throughout the course of pre-season Batch has been good for us in the middle. We had visions of him fighting for a spot in that position. But such as his versatility when we lost both Reece Lyne and Thomas Minns, we needed him to step in. Whilst he’s done it before and knows how to do the job, he still did a really good job for us. It was just about trying to get people in those positions who are more accustomed to that.

“Losing Liam Hood (hooker) to a shoulder injury was tough but we’ve got full faith in Harry Bowes after his performance last week playing out of position in the more accustomed role of nine and filling in, getting the chance in that position at some stage.

“It will be a lot better for him and he will be a lot more confident going into the game, as will James Batchelor.”

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Wakefield welcome back Jacob Miller and David Fifita to their squad for the St Helens trip. 

Saints boss Kristian Woolf has named an unchanged squad for the third successive week. Tonga international centre Will Hopoate remains in the squad having missed the win at Hull due to injury.

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