Today Mark Applegarth has named his second team as Wakefield Trinity coach ahead of their clash against Halifax Panthers.
After overseeing Wakefield’s win over Leeds Rhinos on Boxing Day, the new coach’s next task is testing his side against one of the Championship’s top teams in Halifax Panthers in Reece Lyne’s testimonial as the former Hull FC centre celebrates his long career.
Thus, Applegarth has named his side today with 13 players on the bench for the game.
However, his starting 13 is interesting to say the least.
It is perhaps the strongest team Wakefield could put out under Mark Applegarth and he has made some big calls.
Max Jowitt starts at fullback with the first big call coming on the wings with Lee Kershaw and Lewis Murphy, who both impressed against Leeds Rhinos on Boxing Day left out.
Many expected Murphy to receive the number five shirt in 2023 only for it to stay with Lineham who appears revitalised after a loan with Featherstone Rovers.
Kershaw scored twice brilliantly against Leeds on Boxing Day. Both feature on the bench.
Tom Lineham and Jorge Taufua instead come in. Reece Lyne is the captain for his testimonial at centre and is joined by Langi with no Corey Hall.
Hall received the number three shirt after a strong 2022 season. It will be interesting if Langi forces his way into the team ahead of him in 2023.
Langi is very versatile and could play other positions.
Lee Gaskell and Mason Lino start in the halves with Morgan Smith on the bench despite a solid debut against Leeds. He doesn’t feature at hooker either with Liam Hood returning from injury at hooker with Jai Whitbread and new signing Renouf Atoni at prop. This itself is a big call with Eddie Battye left on the bench despite wearing the number eight shirt.
The backrow is Matty Ashurst and Jay Pitts with Kelepi Tanginoa not in the squad. This is a strong area of the squad and thus this is a big call from Applegarth,
Former NRL star Kevin Proctor makes his debut at loose-forward ahead of the likes of Jordy Crowther and others.
This is a very strong Wakefield side with the likes of Tanginoa to come into the mix.
It could very well be Applegarth’s strongest side and could have Wakefield competing in 2023.