sport

Kirmond blow for Wildcats

Wakefield will be without captain Danny Kirmond for up to a month after he was forced to undergo knee surgery.

The former Huddersfield second rower hurt his left knee during Sunday's 18-16 home defeat by his old club.

"Danny is having an operation on a cartilage today," Wildcats coach Richard Agar said. "It's going to rule him out for three to four weeks.

"It's a big blow because he's become a very important player for us and we've not got the biggest squad.

"He's got that line-breaking ability and he's really grown into the captaincy."

Agar will plug the gap for Saturday's game against Catalan Dragons in Perpignan by bringing in either Frankie Mariano or Kyle Trout, who has been recalled from his spell at Doncaster.

Former Hull KR forward Mariano would have been the automatic choice but he has not had any game time for a fortnight.

Agar wanted him to play alongside Trout on a dual registration for Doncaster but the Championship club's coach Tony Miller was unable to find a place in his team.

Agar has no argument with Miller but he believes the case highlights the drawback of the controversial dual-registration system - which several leading Championship clubs are fighting, claiming it undermines the integrity of their own competition.

"We had to leave Frank out of the team because we felt some other guys deserved a chance but we haven't seen him play since," Agar said.

"The dual reg hasn't quite worked for us. We'd have obviously preferred him to go to Doncaster and get a couple of weeks in but they've had no spot for him.

"I appreciate where the Championship clubs are coming from. They want their own identity and they don't want blokes in for a week and out for a week.

"Nor would I expect them to pander to us. Tony is trying to build his own team and culture so I guess it's disruptive having blokes in and out.

"We needed Frank and Vinny Mellars to get a game but unfortunately they couldn't squeeze him in.

"There are positives to the dual reg system but I also think there are quite a few negatives.

"My biggest concern for the game is that, whichever way we do it, we are driving some players away from the game.

"If they used Frank and Vinny, it's two of their guys who aren't going to get any rugby league that week.

"The lack of a reserve-grade competition is leaving too many players on the sidelines every week.

"It's still early season and, hopefully in time, as injuries occur, that's when it will be of real benefit to the Championship clubs. They will cover their injuries by pulling in full-time players."

Wakefield's only other injury absentee is threequarter Reece Lyne, who made a big impression following his close-season move from Hull until damaging a pectoral muscle in the win over London 11 days ago.

"We thought he had torn it and were looking at six months but the specialist is very happy that it's starting to heal itself already," Agar said.

"We're expecting a two to three-week lay-off, which is better than we first feared but it's still a blow for the kid because he was playing very well and had anchored a place in the team."

Lyne's absence enabled centre Lee Smith to make his first appearance of the season against Huddersfield after recovering from a broken thumb.