Diskin hopes for Sammut off day


19th February 2014

Jarrod Sammut has been forgiven but not forgotten as he prepares to make his Wakefield Trinity Wildcats debut against the team he walked out on less than a week ago.

The 26-year-old Australian became the second player to quit Bradford Bulls last Friday when he joined the Wildcats on a two-year deal.

Sammut goes straight into the Wakefield side, most probably on the bench, for Thursday's televised Super League home game against the Bulls.

The former Crusaders half-back, who followed Garreth Carvell out of Odsal, was released from his contract after the Bulls agreed a transfer fee with Wakefield and he took to his Twitter account to apologise for his actions.

"I have loved every minute of my time at the Bulls and have made long-lasting memories and friendships which I am grateful for," Sammut said.

"I do apologise for leaving but it's what's best for my family at this moment in time. I hope you can understand."

Bradford captain Matt Diskin said he accepted Sammut's explanation and admits he will pose a threat in the round-two fixture.

"He's a fantastic player and we still like him in our changing room." Diskin said. "But he's made a choice for him and his family and you've got to respect that decision.

"On his day he can be the best player in the world and on another day he can be the total opposite. I just hope we get the latter version."

Sammut, who takes the place of the injured Jimmy Keinhorst, was forced to spend most of Tuesday travelling to Cardiff and back to update his work visa and will train with his new team-mates for the first time just 24 hours before kick-off.

Wakefield coach Richard Agar said: "We're not expecting too much from him because he's yet to train with us. We think he's a good enough player to warrant getting him in there.

"It's quite ironic that we're up against Bradford. We've had a bit of a laugh about it. Jarrod's a player that doesn't like to do things the easy way.

"He's a bit unconventional and I suppose this is another example of that. He'll take it in his stride. I think he's the type of player who will thrive on a situation like this."

Agar, whose side were beaten 18-14 at Salford in their opening game, believes both teams could feel the strain of a second fixture in five days.

"With it being such a short turn-around, we decided this week to forgo field work," Agar said. "We got the guys recovered on Sunday and Tuesday and we'll have a 45-minute team run on Wednesday.

With both clubs going through turmoil in the close season due to financial pressures, Thursday's game has been perceived as a potential relegation battle, a notion dismissed by Diskin.

He added: "There's obviously a cloud hanging over us, about whether we're going to get points deducted or not, and Wakefield have had a bit of turmoil so you can understand why people would say that, but it is a bit disrespectful so early in the year to be placing that tag on it."