Tom Johnstone and Bill Tupou set to make Wakefield Trinity returns against Hull KR

Bill Tupou (left) and Tom Johnstone (right). PIC: Isabel Pearce/
Bill Tupou (left) and Tom Johnstone (right). PIC: Isabel Pearce/

Tom Johnstone and Bill Tupou will make their long-awaited Wakefield Trinity returns against Hull Kingston Rovers on Sunday.

Trinity host the Robins to mark Danny Brough’s testimonial and head coach Chris Chester is planning on naming a strong side with Wakefield’s Super League opener at Hull KR just under a month away.

Johnstone was sidelined for much of 2019 with an ACL injury while Tupou was in and out of the side due to numerous injury problems.

“Tom and Bill will both start,” confirmed Chester.

“We will go as as strong as we possibly can. We will have a squad of 24. We are still missing people but I am looking forward to seeing Bill and Tom back out there.

“I know that Milky [Jacob Miller] is really happy to have his left-edge back.”

Bill Tupou. PIC: Allan McKenzie/

Bill Tupou. PIC: Allan McKenzie/

Chester added: “The yardage part of the game is massive now, teams generally put you in a corner and say, ‘right, do your best.’

“But when you have got a big, strong winger in Tom Johnstone who is elusive and evasive, and you have got Bill who is a big powerhouse, it just makes that yardage a lot easier.”

Sunday’s fixture is Trinity’s second of pre-season following a 30-4 defeat against Leeds Rhinos on Boxing Day.

Chester feels that Hull KR won’t give too much away in this weekend’s game, with the sides set to meet in Super League on January 31.

He said: “The friendly had been organised well before the first Super League game was announced.

“But it will give Hull KR an opportunity to look at us and us an opportunity to look at them.

“I don’t think either team will want to show their cards too early. For us it is just about making those improvements from Boxing Day.

“It will be great to see Tom Johnstone and Bill Tupou back playing at the Mobile Rocket.”

Chester has paid tribute to Brough ahead of the half-back’s testimonial.

The 2013 Man of Steel of winner has played for a number of clubs in Super League and is currently in his second spell with Wakefield.

He first joined the club in 2008 before leaving for Huddersfield in 2010.

He returned to Belle Vue ahead of the 2019 campaign and Chester hopes to see a big crowd in attendance this weekend.

He added: “We will go as strong as we can in the first 40 minutes.

“In the second half we want to give an opportunity to some young kids.

“But we will treat the occasion with the respect it deserves. We are playing for a guy that has been a great servant to Wakefield and a great servant to rugby league.

“He has played over 500 first-grade games. I have known him for a long time and I hope that the Wakefield public get behind it.

“We have got a really important week next week and it is important for us to get through without any knocks.”