WAKEFIELD // Paul Cooke met his new Wakefield teammates for the first time yesterday as John Kear, the Wildcats coach, was leaning towards throwing him in at the deep end against Salford today. The stand-off, 28, has not played for a month after being frozen out at Hull Kingston Rovers, and completed his move on Friday after negotiating a release from Hull. Cooke, who has signed a contract to the end of this season, is eager to get back in the action and Kear dropped a hint by including him in his initial 19-man squad. "I expect that Cooke will get a chance to play in this game but I'll make a decision about that closer to the kick-off time," Kear said.
Kear also has Danny Brough in his squad even though the scrum-half and former Scotland captain is close to a move to Huddersfield. Cooke and Brough played key roles in Kear's Challenge Cup triumph with Hull in 2005 and the coach makes no secret of his admiration for the former England international. "Paul Cooke is one of the most gifted players of his generation," said Kear. "I worked with him when I was on the coaching staff at Hull FC so we know each other well. I'm a great admirer of his skill set and also recognise the great talent he has."
Castleford host leaders Wigan in today's other Super League game. * PA Sport