Wakefield Trinity forward signs new deal as fan favourite departs due to 'challenging financial situation'
James Batchelor has agreed a one-year contract extension at Wakefield Trinity, keeping him at the club until the end of the 2022 campaign.
The 23-year-old is a product of the Trinity academy and made his professional debut for the club in 2016 and has been a first-team regular since.
The second-rower felt his form in the latter stages of the season was instrumental in earning him another year at Belle Vue and he is looking for more consistency in 2022.
“I’m really happy to be staying at the club,” said Batchelor.
“The team were playing really well at the back end of the year and I was starting to play more regular rugby, so I’m really happy to be here for 2022.
“My first goal is to try and nail down a starting spot and be really important to the team whilst playing consistently well every week.
“The deal didn’t come around until pretty late, so I would say my form towards the back end of the year was a big factor in it and I just want to kick on now.”
Head coach Willie Poching, who was appointed on a permanent basis last month, is delighted to see the academy product commit another year to Wakefield.
He said: “It is great for us to keep our homegrown talent. Batch is extremely professional and strives to be the best he can, and that’s the type of player we are after.
“He has his best years ahead of him and we look forward to him being with us through that time.”
Meanwhile, hooker Kyle Wood is set to leave the club after his contract expired at the end of the season
Having previously played for the club in 2012 and 2013, Castleford-born Wood returned to Trinity ahead of the 2017 campaign, helping the club to consecutive fifth-placed finishes.
In total, he featured 165 times for the club, scoring 26 tries. He is currently linked with a move to Championship side Halifax Panthers.
“Kyle has been outstanding in his two spells at the club," said Wakefield CEO Michael Carter.
"He has been a hugely-popular figure within the club, and departs to pastures new with all our very best wishes.
"Unfortunately it’s probably a consequence of the challenging financial situation that has left us not able to offer Kyle an extension. I wish him and family all the very best.”