Once again Wakefield Trinity have been written off again heading into 2023 and their first chance to prove people wrong comes on Friday night in Super League Round One as they host Catalans Dragons.
The West Yorkshire side are the favourites for relegation but have made some exciting signings such as Kevin Proctor and Renouf Atoni from the NRL as well as Featherstone Rovers halfback Morgan Smith and centre Samisoni Langi who could take on his former club this week.
Speaking of the Dragons, they are in something of a transition after playing in the Grand Final in 2021.
They haven’t finished their recruitment for 2023 either with two squad numbers left vacant. They have a former Wakefield star in their squad however in the shape of Tom Johnstone.
Kick-off time and TV channel
The game kicks off at 19:30 at Belle Vue.
There is no live TV coverage but highlights will be available on Super League’s YouTube channel and on BBC’s Super League show.
Trinity are just missing one of their first 13 with Liam Hood out with a knee injury meanwhile Jordy Crowther is also absent.
Other than this it is as strong a squad as Mark Applegarth can name.
New signings Renouf Atoni, Kevin Proctor, Morgan Smith and Samisoni Langi could all debut on Friday.
Smith or Liam Kay will likely fill the void left by Hood at nine.
Catalans have named as strong a squad as they can muster for the game as well.
New signings Adam Keighran, Romain Navarrete, Siua Taukeiaho, Tom Johnstone and Manu Ma’u have been named in the squad for the first game of the season.
The likes of Sam Tomkins, Mike McMeeken and Fouad Yaha are all absent.
However, they have been forced into a late change with Catalans confirming today that Loan Castano replaces Bastien Scimone in the 21-Man squad to travel to Wakefield.
Round 1 squad news is here! 😆
Your 21-man squad that's ready to face @DragonsOfficiel on Friday evening. 💪
🎟 https://t.co/UZP1g9h2JJ #OurClubOurJourney pic.twitter.com/Fc2OqxZebz
— Wakefield Trinity (@WTrinityRL) February 15, 2023
🏉 𝗟𝗘 𝗚𝗥𝗢𝗨𝗣𝗘
𝑃𝑟𝑒́𝑠𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑒́ 𝑝𝑎𝑟 𝑍𝑜𝑑𝑖𝑎𝑐
Steve McNamara a dévoilé son groupe pour la première journée de Super League à @WTrinityRL.
🇬🇧 https://t.co/W1UPSJHQ0p pic.twitter.com/0isJAY3poh
— Dragons Catalans (@DragonsOfficiel) February 15, 2023