Wakefield Trinity coach Willie Poching has confirmed star prop David Fifita will make his return from injury during Thursday’s Betfred Super League clash with Huddersfield Giants at the Be Well Support Stadium (Wakefield 17/10, Huddersfield 1/2, Tie 18/1 – Match Winner).
Tonga international Fifita has sat out Wakefield’s last six matches after picking up an unspecified injury during their 38-22 victory over Warrington Wolves on March 19 and his presence has certainly been missed, with Trinity (10/1 to finish bottom) having lost their last four matches by an aggregate score of 156-30.
However, Fifita is now set to make his return to action in Thursday’s West Yorkshire derby and Poching is certainly not underestimating the 32-year-old’s importance to the team both on and off the field.
“He will be back in there for us and he has been sorely missed. The group are excited to have him back,” Poching told reporters at his pre-match press conference.
“He has been back to his lively best again and he gives confidence to the group, just to have him there, to have his voice and to have him pumping again.”
While the return of Fifita is a clear boost for Wakefield, it comes off the back of the news that hooker Liam Hood faces a lengthy period on the sidelines with a shoulder issue.
“We knew it was going to be a substantial lay-off,” Poching added regarding Hood.
“He got a knock earlier in the season and being the tough character he is he tried to soldier through but it was too much for him. We’ve got to try and do the right thing by him and for us long-term too.”
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After a positive start to the season, Huddersfield (25/1 Grand Final Winner) are without a win in three Betfred Super League games, with head coach Ian Watson blaming that dip in form on a recent flu outbreak within the squad, although he feels they are now over the worst of it.
“We’ve obviously had the bans, couple of niggles and we’ve had a little bit of flu running through the camp and it’s been a little bit challenging, but we’ve had all the boys in today,” Watson confirmed.
The Giants will also benefit from the return of halfback Theo Fage following a concussion absence, although Chris Hill, Tui Lolohea and Jack Cogger will all miss Thursday’s contest due to suspension.
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