15th June 2019, 11:20 | wakefield_trinity
Salford centre Junior Sa’u and Wakefield forward Pauli Pauli are both set for recalls and will go up against players who have been their team-mates for the last month.
They were part of a loan swap deal as Trinity sought to offset the absence of a host of threequarters and the Red Devils opted to bolster their pack but are now back with their parent clubs, armed with plenty of knowledge of the opposition.
“Pauli has been a big help for us in terms of the way that they play and the way they defend and I’m pretty sure Junior will be a big help to Salford as well,” said Wakefield coach Chris Chester.
👥 @junior_sau and Ben Nakubuwai have been named in Ian Watson's 19-man squad for Sunday's match against @WTrinityRL!— Salford Red Devils (@SalfordDevils) June 14, 2019
🎭 Will they put on a show at @The_Lowry takeover?
READ ➡️ https://t.co/n97onwkQWO pic.twitter.com/7SaU4QmZf4
“It worked well for both teams and we’re happy to get Pauli back.
“I think he got what he wanted to get out of it, which was playing every week and playing some long minutes.”
Pauli’s return will help offset the loss of back rowers Matty Ashurst and James Batchelor to injury in last week’s defeat by Leeds while Sa’u is expected to be a replacement for an injured Ken Sio for Salford.
Salford director of rugby Ian Blease said: “We’re pleased to have Junior back with us after gaining some match fitness during his time at Wakefield.
“He has been important to the team during his time at the club and I’m sure the Salford fans will be eager to welcome him back to the AJ Bell.”
Just two points separate the teams in mid-table and Chester is expecting another tight tussle.
“They’re in a fairly similar situation to us, they’ve lost their last three league games,” Chester said. “I think Salford have probably been a little bit more unlucky than we have.
“They were unlucky not to get the result against Saints and had another close one last week and a real close one at Magic so they’re in games.
“They’re always close games when we play them, it was a close one down here. There’s never a great deal between the two sides.”
Meanwhile, Chester says the club are still no nearer to discovering the extent of a foot injury that is keeping popular prop David Fifita on the sidelines.
The Tonga international was a strong contender for the Steve Prescott Man of Steel award after impressing during a run of 16 consecutive appearances since the start of the season but he has missed the last two matches.
“We’ve still not got to the bottom of it,” Chester said. “He’s had scans and X-rays which have come back clear so it’s obviously something else that is causing him some discomfort.
“It’s been a couple of weeks now and we still haven’t found out what it is that is keeping him from training and getting out on the field.”