Wakefield Trinity Wildcats chief Richard Agar will do “everything possible” to get Ali Lauitiiti playing for the club once more – if the veteran Kiwi has the desire to continue his decorated career.
The gifted second-row, who turns 35 in July, might not feature again this season after suffering a serious knee injury at former club Leeds Rhinos last month,
Lauitiiti has enjoyed an Indian summer at Belle Vue, often inspiring his Trinity colleagues having moved from Headingley following his fifth Grand Final success with the club in 2011.
His contract is up at the end of this campaign, though, and Agar is due to discuss the player’s future with him imminently.
“We are probably going to talk to Ali about his desire beyond this season – if he is planning on playing again next year,” said the coach, who takes his side to Hull FC tomorrow.
“If he is we can certainly look at doing everything possible to get him back. Managing Ali from a physical point of view is going to be a big challenge to him – mentally and physically – so that after his four months sidelined he’s ready to go.
“For such a big guy, that’s a long time to be out.”
At the other end of the scale, 21-year-old Lucas Walshaw has, unsurprisingly, retained his place for the trip to KC Stadium.
The powerful centre has spent much of the last two campaigns on loan at Doncaster and Dewsbury but made an impressive try-scoring appearance in Easter Monday’s loss at Huddersfield.
“Lucas played very well for us there and he will keep his spot,” said Agar, who is still looking to make a new signing in the three-quarters to bolster a side who have not won since mid-March.
Wakefield will give a debut to second-rower Jacob Fairbank following his arrival on loan from Huddersfield and coach Agar has also included 16-year-old full-back Max Jowitt in his 19-man squad.