HOW Catalan Dragons coach Laurent Frayssinous must envy his Wakefield Trinity Wildcats counterpart Richard Agar.
Granted, the French side – like tomorrow’s hosts – are still awaiting their first point of the new season but they arrive in West Yorkshire without 11 first-team players.
Wakefield, in contrast, made another significant signing yesterday, their fourth in recent weeks, when England Knights winger Chris Riley arrived from Warrington Wolves on a month’s loan deal.
He should debut along with Nick Scruton, the robust prop who Agar plucked from Bradford Bulls seven days ago, though it is not all good news for Trinity.
Harry Siejka, the young Australian stand-off who was supposed to arrive on Thursday, has encountered flight delays and will now not land until today, therefore, ruling him out of contention.
Riley, however, is a tidy piece of business for Wakefield, the prolific 26-year-old who has scored 120 tries in 180 games for Warrington but surprisingly found himself out of favour since a poor display against St Helens in round one.
With Australian centre Dean Collis completing a two-game ban and on-loan Leeds Rhinos threequarter Jimmy Keinhorst absent, he is excellent cover.
“We have injuries and suspensions in the backs so his experience will really help us out over the next month and he’ll bring a lot of energy,” said Agar, who refuses to see tomorrow’s game as a “four-pointer”.
“I don’t think, in round four, we can start building it up as a relegation battle, but at the same time we know we want to start picking up points.
“We have talked about almost re-starting our season this week, in terms of what we’re doing at training and the influx of new players we’ve got.”
Frayssinous already had France half-back Thomas Bosc, ex-Wakefield centre Daryl Millard, Vincent Duport, Australian scrum-half Scott Dureau, Ben Pomeroy and Damien Cardace on the sidelines and saw three further players injured in their 40-12 home loss to Leeds Rhinos last week.
Ian Henderson, Mickael Simon and Antoni Maria are all now out while former Wakefield second-row Olivier Elima is suspended along with Julian Bousquet.
Ex-Kiwi international Louis Anderson and Benjamin Garcia are set to play their first game of the season and young prop Gadwin Springer could make his Super League debut at Belle Vue.