Warrington to contest Sitaleki Akauola ban at Red Hall tonight

Warrington coach Steve Price has confirmed the club will appeal the ban handed out to prop Sitaleki Akauola which has ruled him out of Saturday’s Challenge Cup final against Catalans.

The prop was banned following an incident during Friday night’s defeat to Castleford Tigers, meaning Akauola will be unavailable for Warrington as they go in pursuit of the sport’s famous trophy this weekend.

But Price is hopeful they can put forward a compelling case to the RFL at Red Hall this evening to stand a chance of getting it overturned.

He said: “We’re contesting the ban. We’re confident we’ll put a good case forward. I’m confident that if it was worst-case scenario, the players who would come in would do a good job – just as they have done all year.”

Price also admitted that George King would be the likely replacement for Akauola. “George has come into consideration because he played some good stuff against Castleford and he’s been banging on the door,” he said. “We’ve got a big session on Wednesday and we’ll know a lot more after that.”

Price also insisted that he expects to have a fairly healthy squad available for Saturday’s game – though utility back Mitch Brown underwent surgery on a knee injury on Tuesday.

“Harvey Livett trained today, and he’s looking in reasonable shape at the moment,” Price said.

“Ryan Atkins had a good session, and Sitaleki was out on the training field despite copping a bang on his shoulder. Tyrone Roberts has had some limited training with concussion protocols but he’ll be raring to go. We’ll be ready to go.”