Hampshire struggling to get fit

Ryan Hampshire is facing a race against time to make Wakefield’s derby opener against Leeds on Saturday.

And coach Chris Chester also has worries over new halfback signing Mason Lino and fullback Max Jowitt.

Versatile Hampshire has had a ‘clean-out’ of a problematic knee, while Samoa international Lino has sore ribs.

The 27-year-old former Newcastle Knights man, freshly signed on a three-year contract, played in the warm-up win over Dewsbury.

But Chester admits the one-time New Zealand Warriors player, who he hopes will form a fruitful partnership with Jacob Miller, was hampered by his injury.

“He is not in too much discomfort but you could tell he didn’t really want to carry the ball and with any contact you could see he winced,” said Chester.

“We are fairly confident it is not a big issue, and hopefully he will be fine to face Leeds and continue to build his understanding with Milky (Miller).

“We think the way Lino plays will help Milky focus on his own game a little bit more, and I thought the signs were positive against Dewsbury.”

In the absence of Hampshire and Jowitt, who picked up a knock during training, Alex Walker played at fullback.

The 25-year-old Scotland international joined from London Broncos ahead of last season, when he featured nine times.

Prop David Fifita missed the match due to illness, but youthful due Oliver Greensmith, a centre, and Sam Eseh, a forward, both featured and caught Chester’s eye.

“I was impressed with Sam, he really stood up,” said the coach. “The same goes for Oliver.”

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