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Mark Applegarth offers huge Wakefield Trinity boost in time for ‘relegation Grand Final’

Mark Applegarth as head coach of Wakefield Trinity

Wakefield Trinity face Hull FC tomorrow however they have already jumped off bottom of the Super League table, the first time since before round three, on account of relegation rival Castleford Tigers heavy defeat to Huddersfield Giants last night.

Applegarth’s side have put together a run of form that features four wins in six, although all of them have come at Belle Vue, meaning they’ll have to find a first away win of the season tomorrow if they want to put distance between themselves and Cas.

Trinity play the Tigers in round 22, in just two weeks time, and they’re set to have a huge squad boost with players returning from both injuries and suspension, including a news signing.

On the l0ng list of long-term injures, Applegarth told BBC West Yorkshire: “Kelepi Tanginoa, we’re just waiting for his follow-up appointment with the specialist. He’s now got his cast off and he’s just in process of strengthening his arm and things like that.

“Jai Whitbread should be back in contention after this week. He’s just had a bit of a minor groin strain.

“You’ve got Josh Griffin, he should be back for the Cas game unless there’s any issues there in terms of injuries.

“Romain Franco should be back in contention around then. Hugo Salabio’s obviously done with his ban as well.

“I think a lot of them should be back in contention over the next couple of weeks.”

So whilst Tanginoa may not be back for that clash it would seem that a huge number of other players are, but Applegarth may fear changing a winning formula, especially if they can defeat Hull FC.

“I think it’s the first time we’ve been able to name an unchanged 21-man squad. I’m really happy with how we performed last week. We’ve got one more session to go yet, so fingers crossed it shouldn’t be too far changed from what we saw last Sunday.”

The big absentees last week were Will Dagger and Liam Kay, and when asked on their status or if he dare change a winning team, Applegarth responded:

“Yeah, good. They were just nursing a couple of knocks last week. If I’m honest with you, they were probably 50-50 if we played them last week. This week off has done them the world of good, so both should be back in contention for Sunday.”

“It’s a luxury I’ve not had all year so I’d rather have them sort of headaches than some of the headaches that we’ve had in previous weeks. That’s coaching isn’t it? It’s a lot better position to be in than struggling to name a 17-man squad.”

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