Wednesday 19

Rugby League

Wakefield can cope without Pauli

25th January 2019, 12:57 by Gareth Freeman

Coach Chris Chester is confident his Wakefield squad can cope without second-rower Pauli Pauli in the opening weeks of the season.

The Australian sustained a knee injury in the pre-season defeat at Newcastle Thunder and faces up to two months on the sidelines.

Chester admits Pauli's absence comes as a blow, but he says he has the strength in depth to cope without the 24-year-old for the opening weeks of the new Betfred Super League season.

"It’s not ideal, but he probably wouldn’t have been playing the first couple of weeks anyway," Chester told the Yorkshire Post.

"There’s still a lot of work to do with Pauli. Obviously with the way the interchanges have gone now [reduced from 10 to eight] I need 17 fit blokes.

"He is a big loss to us, but it’s a position we’ve got quite a bit of cover in - we’ve got Kirmo [Danny Kirmond], we’ve got James Batchelor and Matty Ashurst.

"He does bring some real punch and certainly when he gets fit and the grounds get harder he will be a real force for us."

He added: "We are disappointed for Pauli, but we are hopeful it’ll be six to eight weeks maximum. In that respect he’s probably only going to miss four games."

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Gareth Freeman is an experienced journalist who can offer in-depth knowledge on a host of sports, especially football, tennis, snooker and basketball.

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