Wakefield Trinity to make late calls on Tom Johnstone and Kelepi Tanginoa ahead of trip to Warrington Wolves
WAKEFIELD TRINITY will make late calls on Tom Johnstone’s and Kelepi Tanginoa’s involvement in Friday night’s Super League meeting with Warrington Wolves.
Star winger Johnstone has missed the majority of the season after suffering two concussions in successive games but head coach Chris Chester revealed he has returned to full fitness.
Chester will be cautious with Johnstone’s involvement, however, with Wakefield set to play rivals Castleford Tigers on Wednesday night.
It is unlikely Johnstone will play a part in both of Trinity’s next two fixtures with the winger also due to take part in a training session with the England squad on Monday.
Chester is keen to manage Johnstone’s minutes and give him the best chance of being fit for this autumn’s Rugby League World Cup.
“He has been out for nine weeks and missed seven or eight games and we’ve got to make sure we do the right thing by Tom,” said Chester.
“Whether that’s play him on Friday and not Wednesday, or don’t play him Friday, but do on Wednesday, it is something we need to have a good think about.
“We have discussed it as a staff and we’ll make a call on Friday.
“We’re also mindful Tom has to go on Monday to an England session, so we have got to be mindful of his schedule between now and next Wednesday.”
Chester added: “We have got to make sure Tom is in the best shape he has been in, to give him a really good chance of getting into the World Cup at the end of the year. That’s the target.”
Meanwhile, Tanginoa could make a miraculous recovery after being substituted early on in last weekend’s victory over Leigh Centurions.
In the aftermath of the victory, Chester expected the forward to be absent for the trip to Warrington with a “really bad dead leg” but revealed that he could be available in time to face the Wire.
Chester added: “It’s just above the kneecap, it is really swollen around his knee, but he has got full movement there.
“We will assess him and if he can do the team run on Thursday, then he gives himself an opportunity to play on Friday. He’s another one we will wait until the last second to decide on.”
Meanwhile, there are no new injuries in the Warrington squad ahead of the fixture but the Wolves are expected to be without Jason Clark and long-term absentees Greg Inglis and Matty Ashton.
The Wire were knocked out of the Challenge Cup by Castleford last weekend and head coach Steve Price reflected: “I wouldn’t say it’s a must-win game - there’s still a lot of football to be played to be honest.
“It’s all about getting our back yard in order on Friday. There’s a few bruised egos and rightly so.”