Handful of players set to leave Wakefield Trinity with squad in need of a 'refresh'

Wakefield Trinity head coach Chris Chester. PIC: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.
Wakefield Trinity head coach Chris Chester. PIC: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

WAKEFIELD TRINITY head coach Chris Chester has admitted that his squad needs a “refresh” ahead of the 2020 campaign.

Trinity have endured a disappointing campaign, with a string of poor results in June and July dragging them into the relegation scrap.

Chester has been forced to contend with a number of injury problems this term, with Tom Johnstone and Tinirau Arona both suffering season-ending injuries.

However, the Wakefield boss doesn’t want to use the club’s casualty list as an excuse when looking at Trinity’s shortcomings in 2019.

A number of players are expected to leave the club at the end of the campaign and Chester says those who won’t be offered new deals have already been informed.

“The players that haven’t got a deal for next year know already,” said Chester.

“We need to refresh the squad. It has not been as good a season as we envisaged and as we had hoped and we have got to ask questions why that is.

“The obvious excuse is the injuries but we need to have a look at what we have done over the last 10 to 12 weeks and come up with some answers.

“So the players that are leaving the club, know they will be leaving and the players that are staying know as well.”

On any new arrivals for the 2020 campaign Chester added: “We are fairly confident that we will get some fresh bodies in over the off-season that will add some real competition to the good squad that we already have.”

Wakefield return to Super League action this weekend as they prepare to face in-form Wigan Warriors at Belle Vue.

The sides have claimed a win each over each other in 2019, with Trinity winning 30-20 in the clash at Belle Vue in April.

However, the clubs’ respective fortunes have differed greatly since that fixture with Wigan moving into the top five and Trinity sucked into the survival battle.

Wakefield earned a confidence-boosting win in their last outing at Hull KR just under two weeks ago.

And Chester wants his side to build on their defensive display in that game, when they conceded just 10 points and kept the Robins scoreless for a whole half.

He said: “We can take a lot from our performance against Hull KR, certainly defensively.

“We only leaked 10 points.

“Wigan are probably the form team in the competition, they have won nine of their last 10.

“Both teams are a little bit different to what they were last time at Belle Vue. But we can take confidence from the result against them last time out.

“Wakefield is never a nice place to come to. You get into the changing rooms there and they are very small.

“And it is like a bit of a fortress for us. We are fairly confident but I am sure that Lammy (Adrian Lam) will be confident as well.”

On-loan Warriors utility back Morgan Escare will be eligible to play for Wakefield against his parent club on Sunday afternoon.

The full-back or winger has been in fine form since joining Wakefield and made 185 metres in their win at Hull KR.

“Morgan is eligible to play this weekend and he comes firmly into my thoughts,” Chester added.

“I thought he was outstanding last weekend against Hull KR and looked a threat everytime he got the ball.

“He will be up for selection and last week’s performance won’t do his credentials any harm.

“He probably should have had two tries as well. He made a 70-metre and a 50-metre break and to his own admission he probably should have scored two tries.

“He is an attacking threat, he has got great leg speed. He is very, very quick and he probably needs to back himself a little bit more.

“I am really happy with Morgan’s contribution and I am looking forward to seeing him play again at Belle Vue this weekend.”

Winger Ben Jones-Bishop was forced to miss a few training sessions last week with a hamstring problem but should be fit to face Wigan on Sunday afternoon.