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Catalans 17:00 Wakefield

Anxious weight for Mathers

Full-back included in Richard Agar's initial 19-man squad

Last Updated: 11/04/12 5:13pm

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Richard Mathers: has returned to training after recovering from a 'real bad bug'

Richard Mathers: has returned to training after recovering from a 'real bad bug'

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Wakefield's Richard Mathers hopes to give former club Leeds plenty of food for thought in the fourth-round Carnegie Challenge Cup tie - provided he can gain some weight in a hurry.

The full-back was put on a drip after being taken ill during the Wildcats' Good Friday derby with Castleford Tigers. He then missed the Monday defeat away to Wigan during the busy Easter period.

"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."
Richard Mathers Quotes of the week

However, Mathers has now returned to training and, after losing a stone in weight in a week, now hopes to pile on the pounds before Friday night.

"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."

Squad named

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 game against the Warriors.

Former Bradford prop Matt James could make his debut in the absence of skipper Steve Southern and former Leeds second rower Ali Lauitiiti.

The Rhinos are hoping to have half-back Danny McGuire back after missing the last four games with a hamstring injury, but Kallum Watkins, Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Weller Hauraki and Richard Moore all remain on the injury list.

Meanwhile, the Rugby Football League have launched a formal investigation into the off-field disturbances that marred Wakefield's derby with the Tigers.

The investigation will centre on the incidents involving supporters of both clubs both inside and outside the stadium and the way in which the incidents were managed.

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