Wakefield Trinity captain backs 'unbelievable' Tom Johnstone for England spot v Aussies

Wakefield Trinity's Tom Johnstone scores one of his two tries against Hull FC. (Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com)Wakefield Trinity's Tom Johnstone scores one of his two tries against Hull FC. (Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com)
Wakefield Trinity's Tom Johnstone scores one of his two tries against Hull FC. (Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com) | freelance
WAKEFIELD Trinity captain Jacob Miller admits he is no longer surprised by Tom Johnstone’s incredible finishes - but would be shocked if the winger does not feature in the Ashes.
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Both times the player’s body was way over the touchline yet he somehow managed to stay airborne before touching down in the tightest of spaces.

“It doesn’t surprise me anymore,” said stand-off Miller, who has helped formed such a successful link with Johnstone and the rest of the club’s dynamic left edge.

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Wakefield Trinity's Jacob Miller in action against Hull FC. (Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com)Wakefield Trinity's Jacob Miller in action against Hull FC. (Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com)
Wakefield Trinity's Jacob Miller in action against Hull FC. (Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com) | freelance

“You give him the smallest of chances and he will more than likely score.

“He is unbelievable. The way he’s come back from two season-long injuries, too, and come back to form so quickly, we could stand and talk about him here all day.

“He should get an England shirt. Just watch his finishes and his highlights.

"If he’s not picked I’d be very surprised.”

Johnstone, 24, has one Test appearance to his name having scored a hat-trick on debut against France in 2018.

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He has ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in both his knees, the second injury ruling him out for most of last year.

But the lightning-fast player is looking as sharp as ever and has already scored five tries in as many games this term.

He was named as one of new England coach Shaun Wane’s 31 “prospective Ashes candidates” last week with Australia arriving for a three Test series at the end of the season.

Johnstone has plenty of competition with 2018 Golden Boot winner Tommy Makinson and World Cup finalist Jermaine McGillvary also included along with Josh Charnley and Dom Manfredi.

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But his quickfire double against Hull, which helped bring Wakefield back level 26-26 after they were once trailing 20-6, was another reminder of his quality.

Cruelly, Trinity went on to lose to Marc Sneyd’s drop goal in Golden Point extra-time.

Miller admitted: “It’s obviously disappointing and it hurt straight after the game.

“But we showed a lot of character and a lot of smarts to get back into it.

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“It was raw afterwards but the character and effort shown to get back into it from 20-6 down was great.

“It’s really disappointing to lose but at the same time there was some positives there.”

Chris Chester’s side will need to quickly dust themselves down, though, as Bradford Bulls arrive in the Challenge Cup on Friday.

The Championship team stunned Leeds Rhinos in last year’s competition and will be hoping to cause another upset while, of course, it is the first time the clubs have met since Wakefield denied them promotion in the 2015 Million Pound Game.

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“It’s not going to be easy,” conceded Miller, with Bradford coach John Kear returning to the club where he has twice enjoyed successful stints.

“They are going to want to get into the hat just as much as we are for the next round and Chezzy has said we’re going to go in as strong as we can (selection-wise).

“We’re not going to take any chances. We’ll prepare well this week and go do our best on Friday.”

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