Wildcats and Reds announce squads
After a stop-start season dogged by injury and suspension, a prolific scorer named Rooney will lace up his boots for an eagerly-awaited return to action on Sunday afternoon.
This is not Wayne Rooney, however, but Wakefield Trinity Wildcats� goalkicking stand-off Jamie Rooney, who plays his first match for a month against Salford in the engage Super League at Belle Vue.
The 26-year-old former Featherstone player was forced to sit out the first month of the season as he recovered from major knee surgery and he was then cited for striking during the Wildcats� 26-12 defeat at Salford.
A two-match ban meant a month�s inactivity because it included two rounds of the Challenge Cup, which Wakefield exited at the fourth-round stage back in April.
�It�s been a bit of a nightmare,� said Rooney. �I�ve still been training with the boys and doing extra fitness so I shouldn�t have lost too much.
�I�ve not fully hit my straps yet. It will be a couple of months before I�m back to my best.�
Despite missing seven of his side�s opening 15 matches, Rooney is still fifth in the Super League scoring charts with 90 points and is now hoping to pick up from where he left in early May. He has been tipped as a potential Great Britain player but for now is simply happy to be back playing for his club.
�Hopefully, I�ve finished with all the injuries and suspensions and I can concentrate on playing well for Wakefield,� he added.
�Great Britain is not on my mind at the moment but it�s everyone�s dream to play for their country and who knows, one day?�
In the meantime, Jamie will be casting an envious eye on the other Rooney in the hope that he, too, can quickly get back on the field.
�I�ll be watching the World Cup and hoping my namesake starts playing again soon,� he said.
�I played soccer a bit at school with all the other lads but I was never really interested. Looking at the money they�re on, I wish I had done.�
Wakefield Trinty Wildcats v Salford City Reds, Belle Vue, Sunday June 11 2006
Wakefield 18-man squad: Halpenny, Demetriou, Whittle, Tadulala, Jeffries, Griffin, March, Korkidas, Solomona, Betham, White, Rooney, MacGillivray, Applegarth, Catic, Saxton, Atkins, Watene.
Salford 18-man squad: Fitzpatrick, Hodgson, Moule, Dunemann, Robinson, Coley, Alker, Rutgerson, Finnigan, Sibbit, Charles, Highton, Langi, Haggerty, Littler, Myler, Brocklehurst, Adamson.
Referee: P Bentham