Mathers aiming to bulk up
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats full-back Richard Mathers is going on an eating binge in a bid to restore his weight in time to face his old club Leeds Rhinos in Friday’s Carnegie Challenge Cup fourth-round tie at Headingley.
The 15st 2lb Mathers had to be put on a drip after being taken ill during the Wildcats’ Good Friday derby with Castleford Tigers.
He lost a stone in under a week and only resumed training today after sitting out his side’s Stobart Super League defeat at Wigan Warriors on Monday.
“I have never been as ill in my life,” he said. “There was a real bad bug going around and I lost six and a half kilos in weight.
“I was ill all week but I pushed myself to play. In hindsight, it was not the smartest thing to do.
“I had dizzy spells and couldn’t focus. They said I was severely dehydrated so they rushed me to the medical room and put me on a drip.
“I trained for the first time today and I’ve got to try to step it up tomorrow because I want to get out there.
“I’m going on an eating spree - I’ve not had a solid meal since last Wednesday.”
Mathers has been named in coach Richard Agar’s initial 19-man squad, along with Danny Kirmond, Dean Collis, Ben Cockayne, Tim Smith and Andy Raleigh, who also sat out the Wigan game.
Former Bradford Bulls prop Matt James could make his debut in the absence of skipper Steve Southern and former Leeds second rower Ali Lauitiiti.
Leeds expect to have Danny McGuire back after he missed the last four games with a hamstring injury.
Kallum Watkins, Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Weller Hauraki and Richard Moore all remain on the Rhinos’ injury list.