Wakefield Trinity to give trialists Thomas Minns and John Davetanivalu an opportunity against Leeds Rhinos in Boxing Day challenge

Wakefield Trinity will give an opportunity to two trialists, including former Leeds Rhinos centre Thomas Minns, in Sunday’s pre-season opener at Headingley.

By Peter Smith
Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 5:01 pm
Thomas Minns scores for Featherstone against Bradford. Picture by Simon Hulme.
Thomas Minns scores for Featherstone against Bradford. Picture by Simon Hulme.

Coach Willie Poching confirmed Minns, who came through Rhinos’ academy, will feature in the Wetherby Whaler Festive Challenge, along with Fijian winger John Davetanivalu.

Another centre, Corey Hall, is set to line up against Rhinos a month after moving from there to Wakefield. Poching has yet to confirm a matchday squad, but revealed it will be “a bit of a mix”.

He said: “There will be a sprinkling of experience, but there’s a couple of people we’ve brought in on trial we want to have a look at.”

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Corey Hall, pictured in action for Leeds last pre-season, will make his first Wakefield appearance against his former club on Boxing Day. Picture by Tony Johnson.

Davetanivalu, 27, has played rugby league for the Army as well as union with Wasps, Birmingham Moseley and London Scottish.

“John is from Colchester, his dad came over as a soldier and he also enlisted, but he came over as a six-year-old,” Poching said.

“He has been with us for about a month on trial, we’ll give him some experience of playing in the game and see how he goes.”

Minns, also 27, spent the past two seasons at Featherstone Rovers and had joined Newcastle Thunder for 2022, but was released for personal reasons.

“He’s been with us a couple of weeks,” Poching said. “I worked with him at Hull KR and he has matured as lot since then.

“He has been through a lot and - as he says - he is really appreciative of the full-time environment now. He understands he is on a trial basis and, like John, we will see how he goes on game day. Our fingers are crossed that things work out for him.”

Of Minns’ departure from Newcastle, Poching added: “The travel got too much.

“He has got a young family now and found he was spending more time away than he thought he would have been, which took its toll.

“Eamon O’Carroll [Newcastle’s coach] gave me a ring about him; he was really pleased with how he’d gone and sad he had to leave, but wanted him to have the best opportunity possible. I jumped at the chance to bring him into our group.”

Signings Lee Gaskell and Liam Hood, another former Rhinos man, are expected to play on Sunday, alongside Hall.