Barrow Raiders half-back Jarrod Sammut is set to make his debut for the club this weekend against Newcastle Thunder, head coach Paul Crarey has confirmed.

The former Super League playmaker joined the club at the beginning of December but has yet to make an appearance, having missed last weekend’s 24-12 victory over Workington Town due to illness.

PAUL CRAREY REACTION: Barrow 24-12 Workington Town

However, the Malta international, formerly of the Wigan Warriors and London Broncos, among others, is set to feature on Sunday.

Jake Carter is also hoping to play some part against Thunder, with Jarrad Stack, Nathan Mossop and Josh Wood also nearing returns. 

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Wood only missed out last weekend after picking up a slight knock, but is now back in contention for Sunday’s game at the Matt Johnson Prestige Stadium.

Speaking after the Raiders’ victory last time out, Crarey praised Wood’s application in training following his recent arrival from Wakefield Trinity.

“Josh [Wood] has been outstanding at training,” he said. “I’ve never seen anybody as physical in contact drills as him.

“He can ping a ball left and right and he’s very composed, so he’s massive for us.”

Crarey also emphasised the strength in depth of his squad as they continue preparations ahead of the opening round of the Betfred Championship against Sheffield Eagles on Sunday 30 January.

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Previewing the new season, Crarey said: “The team with the best versatility will come out on top, and it’s about stealing those close games.

“Covid is going to play a major factor, but we’ve got back-up. 

“We’ve got some good players who sat out [against Workington], and we got a win when we were well off the pace in terms of the structure and how we want to play. 

“I thought we had a desire to defend our goal-line in the first half, especially when we were up against a mountain of possession.

“If we’re going to be a good side and compete in the Championship, we’re going to have to sacrifice ourselves.”

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