WAKEFIELD Trinity head coach Chris Chester believes that Ryan Atkins can provide his side with some much-needed leadership next season.
The veteran centre returned to Trinity for the final stretch of the 2019 campaign, after spending 10 years at Super League rivals Warrington Wolves
He had spent four years at Belle Vue from 2006 until 2009 before making the switch to the Wolves in 2010.
Chester feels that his side has “lost a lot of leadership” in recent seasons and hopes Atkins’s presence will give his squad a lift.
“I only worked with Ryan for four to five weeks but the professionalism he brings to the team is fantastic,” said Chester.
“What we have lacked is leadership, we lost a lot of leadership over the last couple of years.
“And signing people like Ryan, I know he is 34, but he has been in and around some really good places.”
Atkins played just one game for Trinity last year after arriving in early August.
A hand injury had kept him out of action for a prolonged period and Chester added: “He has been involved in winning cultures and I am hoping that he has a real good effect on the players both on and off the field.”
Wakefield will return to pre-season training today (Friday) after securing their Super League place on the final day of last campaign.
Chester confirmed: “We have got the guys in testing on November 1. They will do all their running tests and weight tests and things like that on the Friday.
“And we officially start back on the Monday (November 4).”
Meanwhile, Lewis Wray has signed a one-year deal with Keighley Cougars after leaving Wakefield Trinity.
The second-rower spent last season on loan at the Cougars making 14 appearances and scoring one try.
He said on social media: “I am over the moon to have signed for such a great club.
“I really enjoyed my rugby last year playing under Rhys and playing with all the boys. I can’t wait to run out again at Cougar Park, see you all this season.”
Trinity chief executive Michael Carter added: “Good luck in the future Lewis. Welcome back any time.”