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Smith has faith in troops
2:00pm Thursday 16th August 2012 in Wolves news
TONY Smith believes his team can deliver the goods at rejuvenated London Broncos after revealing at least six selection changes a week before the Challenge Cup Final.
From the team that comprehensively defeated Wigan Warriors at the weekend, Brett Hodgson, Joel Monaghan, Lee Briers , Ben Westwood , Ben Harrison and Garreth Carvell are the ones to have been left out of the 19-man squad.
Into the reckoning come Matty Blythe , Chris Bridge , Mike Cooper , Rhys Evans, Tyrone McCarthy , David Solomona, Rhys Williams and Ben Currie, who has just returned from the England Academy tour of Australia.
And head of coaching and rugby Smith said all cup final places are still up for grabs.
“There are a few bumps and bruises because it was a pretty physical game against Wigan,” he said.
“The physio will have a certain influence on selection.
“We’ve got some players who didn’t play and need to be given an opportunity to prove their form, so regardless of the knocks and bruises there was going to be changes.
“People are getting a chance to stake a claim for selection for the following week so there’s a hell of a lot to play for.
“Whoever we decide to put out there this week, they need to perform at a high level and I’ve got a lot of faith in the squad that that can happen.”
Smith said there is no attention being paid to Wolves’ confirmed top-two finish or the way they seem to be peaking at the right time, adding that focus is firmly set on performance at Twickenham Stoop, kick off 8pm.
“We don’t take anything for granted,” he said.
“Form is quick to come and go. We’re pleased with the performance last week and the week before, and hopefully I’ll be saying the same thing on Friday at about 9.30pm.”
Wolves 19: Ryan Atkins, Matty Blythe, Chris Bridge, Mike Cooper, Ben Currie, Rhys Evans, Simon Grix , Micky Higham, Chris Hill, Tyrone McCarthy, Michael Monaghan , Adrian Morley , Richie Myler, Stefan Ratchford, Chris Riley , David Solomona, Trent Waterhouse, Rhys Williams, Paul Wood .