WAKEFIELD TRINITY front-rower Keegan Hirst says he is playing for his future.
Hirst is out of contract at the end of this season and has not had an offer from Wakefield, though other Betfred Super League and Championship clubs have shown an interest.
“I am playing for a job next year,” he said of the final eight games of the year. “It [the uncertainty] rattled me a bit earlier in the year, but it’s the nature of the beast. I have loved playing for Wakefield and I would love to stay. I am only 31, I am in good nick and I’ve still got a bit to give so we will see what happens.”
With a huge derby at home to Castleford on Friday, Hirst and his fellow forwards will be looking to get back to the form they showed at the start of the year. He stressed: “Earlier in the season we were a dominant pack and we’ve gone away from that a bit with the injuries so that’s something we’ll try to get back on top of against a quality pack.
“It is a big game. Cas have had a tough run and – especially with them losing to Leeds last week and us losing to Catalans – there’s a lot up for grabs, not just bragging rights. We haven’t beaten them for a long time, but we need a win. I think it’ll make for a very entertaining derby.”
Meanwhile Hirst, who came out as gay five years ago, is backing rugby league’s State of Mind round which takes place this weekend: “Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50 and it’s because people don’t share their issues and talk about their troubles, for whatever reason.
“There is a lot of stigma around men and mental health and not being able to talk and having to tough it out. I think it’s important seeing people you might look up to – professional rugby players who are physically tough and go out and do a tough job – being able to talk about our insecurities and the things that bother us.
“If we can talk about it, hopefully it will give people confidence and courage to be able to do that in their own lives.”