COACH Chris Chester has warned his Wakefield Trinity Wildcats players they face a physical test in tomorrow’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup tie against visitors Toulouse.
The French outfit are third in Kingstone Press League One with a record of three wins and a draw from their four games so far.
But they beat Championship leaders Leigh Centurions in the previous round and Chester says Wildcats can’t expect an easy afternoon despite the gulf of two divisions between the teams. “I have seen a couple of their games and they are a very physical side,” Chester said.
“French teams usually are and they turned Leigh over, so they are a strong outfit.
“We won’t be taking them lightly. We are going with a strong squad and we can’t afford any hiccups. We just want to continue this run of form and momentum.”
A win would see Wildcats through to the quarter-finals and leave them only two victories away from a first Wembley appearance since 1979.
That is massive incentive for a team who have won six of their last seven league and cup games.
“If we win, then it’s down to the luck of the draw,” Chester said. “Hopefully we can progress this week and get through and then who knows what happens? We would be happy with anybody at home with the confidence we have got as a group at the moment.
“But we are up against a good team first and we know we have got to play well to get a result against them.”
Wildcats are without Ashley Gibson, who suffered a dislocated shoulder in last week’s win at Widnes Vikings.
Scott Moore is suspended and Chester has opted to rest Nick Scruton and Anthony Tupou, but Jason Walton, Scott Anderson, Anthony England and Mickey Sio could be recalled and Jordan Crowther and Richard Owen are in contention for their first appearance of the season.
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats continued their revival with a hard-fought win at Widnes Vikings last time out.
Chester said: “It was a very gutsy performance and we showed real toughness to get through at the end. We’re just enjoying our football at the minute. We’re in a little bit of form but we’re under no illusions about how big a task it’s going to be this weekend.”
Wildcats’ Cook Islands forward Tinirau Arona has signed a new one-year contract, with a 12-month extension, which could keep him at the club until the end of 2018.
Toulouse Olympique XIII coach Sylvian Houles said: “We were pretty happy with our performance at the weekend against Oxford.
“Now it’s a bigger challenge at Wakefield but the boys are pretty pumped. It was our goal to play a Super League team in the Challenge Cup to see where we are.
“It’s an exciting weekend for us to go to England and play at the Wakefield ground.
“We’ve been preparing pretty well and hopefully will give a pretty good challenge to the Wakefield team and push them to the limit.”