Wakefield Wildcats: Lure of the play-offs snares leading try scorer Lyne

Reece Lyne
Reece Lyne
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HIGHLY-RATED THREE-QUARTER REECE Lyne has signed a contract extension keeping him at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats until the end of 2017.

Lyne is Wildcats’ top try scorer this year and his new deal is a major boost for coach James Webster as he begins planning for next season.

“I am really excited,” Lyne, who joined Wildcats from Hull ahead of the 2013 season, said of his long-term contract. “I had a good think about it and I am really happy here.

“I enjoy it, so why look elsewhere? I am really enjoying my rugby here – I am training with a smile on my face, I love playing with the boys and I am really grateful to Rich (previous coach Richard Agar) for bringing me here.

“It has been the most enjoyable part of my career. I had a year left, they (club officials) approached me about extending my contract and I was more than happy to do that.

“A massive part of my game is confidence and knowing the boys and the coaching staff believe in me certainly helps.”

Lyne has bulked up this season and said that has also contributed to his impressive run of form since returning from a toe injury. “I have put a bit of weight on and that helps as well,” he said. “That’s testament to the conditioners. I have probably put five or six kilos on since last year, which is quite a lot and I am seeing the benefits of it on the pitch. It is definitely good having that extra size.”

Lyne’s first Super League appearance was in 2010 and he admitted it has taken until now to feel at home in elite company.

“I am feeling more comfortable each week,” he said. “I have still got a lot of developing to do and a lot of learning, but I made my debut at 17 and it is totally different to where I am now, at 21. I feel a lot more comfortable in my surroundings and you start to understand yourself better and what works for you.”

Wildcats’ win over Widnes Vikings last week ended their relegation fears and Lyne reckons they can become a force in Super League over the next three years. “That’s why I signed,” he said. “You want to be competing with the top teams, not worrying about relegation. I think with the calibre of players we’ve got and a few new additions we will be challenging.”

On a personal level, Lyne added: “I just want to string a consistent run of games together. This year I’ve had a couple of injuries that have kept me out, so I want to string a good 20-25 games together and build some confidence and some partnerships and cement a starting spot.”

Wildcats play their first away game under Webster – after five successive home matches – at Catalan Dragons on Saturday.

“The boys are buzzing,” Lyne said. “It is a really tough place to go, the conditions are hot and it’s hostile so we know we’re going to have to be at our best. But when you get into that winning habit it spreads around the boys, so we will be going there confident.”

Meanwhile, Webster described Lyne’s long-term contract as “fantastic news” for the club. “He had a lot of interest from other places and realistically you need to look at what Reece has done at the age of only 21,” Webster said. “He’s only going to get better.

“We want to look over the next couple of years to bring on good, young players at Wakefield and Reece fits that category for us.

“We think he’s the type of kid that can really kick-on and become a fantastic centre or winger for Wakefield.”

Scott Grix.

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