Wakefield Trinity (6/1 – Top Six Finish) head coach Willie Poching has revealed he is going to give opportunities to some of his younger players in their Boxing Day friendly match against Leeds Rhinos.
The two Yorkshire sides meet at Headingley for the traditional Boxing Day appetiser, six weeks or so before the start of the new season.
Wakefield will go into the campaign with a sense of optimism after they finished off last season in good form, coinciding with Poching’s appointment as coach.
He replaced the outgoing Chris Chester in August and won five of his seven games in charge, with impressive wins coming against the likes of Warrington, Leeds and Hull FC.
Trinity ended the season in tenth in the table, above Salford Red Devils and Leigh Centurions, the latter tumbling down into the Championship as a result.
Poching was duly handed the job on a full-time basis and now he is preparing his squad ahead of what should be another challenging 2022 season.
Poching has signed winger Tom Lineham from Warrington and has also drafted in Liam Hood and Corey Hall from Leigh and Leeds respectively.
The latter made four first-team appearances for the Headingley club over the past two years and the New Zealander says he will play in the Boxing Day match.
“He will get a run, so it is an early return for him back to Headingley,” Poching confirmed.
“He has been great, he is a really good kid. He came through his scholarship years here before he moved to Wigan so he has got a lot of friends who are still in the group.”
He added: “We are trying to expose some young kids to experiences like playing in front of a big crowd at Headingley.
“As long and tough as our season is, there may be times we need to call them into our group and our squad to play.
Trinity kick their season off on February 13 with a home match against Hull FC (Match Betting – Wakefield 13/10, draw 22/1, Hull FC 8/13).