FOUR NATIONS star Pita Godinet’s Samoan success has given Wakefield Trinity Wildcats a pre-season lift, coach James Webster says.
And Webster reckons a clutch of Wildcats’ other young players have the potential to also make their mark at international level over the next few years.
Godinet turned in eye-catching performances for Samoa during their narrow Four Nations defeats by England and New Zealand and is set to line-up against world champions Australia in the Islanders’ final game on Sunday.
“He has played really well,” Webster said of the hooker/half-back, who joined Wildcats from New Zealand Warriors ahead of the 2014 Super League season.
“I saw more of their game against England than the other game they’ve played and he was really good in that.
“He had 10 weeks off during the season with his knee (injury) and he is probably a bit fresher than the other players, but he has shown he is a good player and I’m looking forward to him getting back (to begin pre-season training) on December 1.”
That will give Godinet only a short break following this weekend’s game, but Webster stressed: “He had four weeks off before the Four Nations and he’ll get three weeks after it.
“He also had 10 weeks off during the season, so he’s not being over-worked.”
Godinet’s impressive form has raised Wildcats’ profile in Australia and New Zealand and Webster added: “It is good for us.
“It is fantastic we’ve got someone playing on a big stage.
“The games that I’ve seen have been outstanding and it has been really good for international football that there’s a fourth team pressing the other three sides.
“Hopefully there’s a few of our younger players can push for international rugby – like Daniel Smith, Reece Lyne, Max Jowitt and Jordan Crowther, as well as Matty Ashurst.
“They are all young blokes and hopefully they can be a bit more prominent in rep’ sides in the future.”
Ashurst was among the new signings who reported in to begin pre-season training with Wakefield yesterday.
“We tested on Thursday and Friday last week and everyone was in (on Monday) for full training,” Webster confirmed.
“There was no Pita Godinet, Mickael Simon or Lopini Paea and Matt Ryan’s not here yet, but everyone else was in.
“We’ve got 20 or 21 training and we are only going to have 26 or 27 next year, so we’re not far off.
“The only one who’s injured and can’t train is Kyle Trout.
“Last year at this time we only had 10 or 11 in, so it’s an improvement.
“The boys have looked after themselves reasonably well in the off-season – there’s been some reasonably good testing and some we need to work on.
“We are in a lot better shape than we were this time last year, but it is going to be a lot tougher season, so we need to be better.”
Webster made a trip to his native Australia following the end of Wildcats’ 2014 Super League campaign and was part of France’s backroom staff during the European Championships, which finished last weekend.
He said: “We’ve one spot left, so when I was in Australia I was out and about looking for some players, seeing what was available, ringing some agents and watching some games.
“With France I was helping Rich (coach Richard Agar) out and it was also a chance to see Mickael and Lopini.”