Wakefield Trinity: Centre Arundel hoping to extend Wakefield stay

Wakefield's Joe Arundel.
Wakefield's Joe Arundel.

IN-FORM CENTRE Joe Arundel says he would like to stay at Wakefield Trinity, but talks about a new contract have yet to begin.

The 25-year-old former Castleford Tigers, Hull and Bradford Bulls three-quarter joined Trinity two years ago and is out of contract at the end of this season.

Mason Caton-Brown.

Mason Caton-Brown.

He did not play in the opening four games of the year, but then had a run of five successive appearances before being concussed in the Good Friday defeat at Castleford.

Arundel missed the next two games, but returned in last Sunday’s win over Catalans Dragons and is expected to start in the centres again when Trinity visit Leigh Centurions today (6pm).

“I didn’t start the season, but I took my opportunity when an injury came up,” Arundel said. “That’s the way things go.

“It’s a funny game rugby, one week you can be not getting a start and then you are playing the next.

“A lot of things can happen and I am just grateful to be playing again, especially as I’m out of contract at the end of the year.

“I would like to stay, but I’ve not had any talks about it yet. I am just concentrating on playing well and putting in the performances I know I can do.

“I want to be playing week-in and week-out and I can only do that by playing to the right standard and playing well.”

Arundel was called up in March after centre Reece Lyne suffered a knee injury. Lyne returned as a substitute against Catalans Dragons last week, when winger Tom Johnstone sustained season-ending knee damage.

Lyne and Arundel could be in the centres today with Ben Jones-Bishop and Mason Caton-Brown on the wings. Bill Tupou is available after injury and gives coach Chris Chester another option in the three-quarters and Danny Kirmond (back injury) and Sam Williams (groin) are also in contention.

“Tom getting injured is a big blow,” Arundel conceded. “I’m sure he’ll come back even better, but he has been awesome and he definitely had a shot for England contention at the end of the year. Some of the stuff he does is first class.”

Caton-Brown’s hat-trick last week, after he moved from centre to wing, helped Trinity to a 30-10 win which ended a three-game losing run. Arundel admitted it’s vital they build on that today. Leigh are a decent team,” he said. “They started the season well and they’ve had a few unlucky results, but they are very dangerous.

“With us wanting to push up the table, these are the games we need to be winning.

“We have got a good month coming up, we’ve got some good fixtures and we need to pick up some wins to cement our place in the top half of the table.

“We’ve got some very good players in our team and some who are playing well at the moment and we want to push on higher than the top-eight. Some people have written us off again, but that’s generally the case.”

Gareth Hock, Mitch Brown, Gregg McNally and James Green are vying for a call-up for Leigh, with Adam Higson and Atelea Vea dropping out from the side beaten by St Helens.

Leigh Centurions: from Naughton, Brown, Crooks, Dawson, Drinkwater, Hock, Weston, Stewart, Hansen, Pelissier, Tickle, McNally, Hampshire, Reynolds, Hood, Green, Hopkins, Acton, Burr.

Wakefield Trinity: from Arona, Arundel, Ashurst, Batchelor, Caton-Brown, England, Fifita, Finn, Grix, Hadley, Hirst, Huby, Jones-Bishop, Kirmond, Lyne, Miller, Tupou, Williams, Wood.

Referee: Chris Kendall (Huddersfield).

Kick-off: Today, 6pm.