Wakefield Trinity boss impressed as former New Zealand Warriors and Newcastle Knights pivot Mason Lino begins pre-season training

Star signing Mason Lino has made a positive first impression at Wakefield Trinity.

Tuesday, 12th January 2021, 5:54 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th January 2021, 6:00 pm
Mason Lino pictured during his time at New Zealand Warriors. Picture by Andrew Cornaga/www.photosport.nz.

The former New Zealand Warriors and Newcastle Knights stand-off or scrum-half trained with Trinity for the first time on Monday and coach Chris Chester already reckons they are on to a winner.

Signing a half-back to play alongside captain Jacob Miller was Trinity’s priority in the off-season and Chester said 26-year-old Lino, who played 34 times in the NRL and been capped three times by Samoa, immediately looked the part - despite unfamiliar conditions.

Chester said: “It is probably not the best timing for him when it is so cold out there, but he has fitted in really well.

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“He looks a really smart footballer, he’s sharp on the ball and he is a tough little thing as well.”

Trinity trained on December 21, 22 and 23 and for three days between Christmas and New Year before pre-season got into full swing last week.

Chester, whose side finished 10th in Betfred Super League last year, was pleased with his players’ fitness after the off-season break and the way they have knuckled down at the start of training.

He said: “It has gone pretty well.

“They have come back physically in really good shape, there’s no concerns.

“We have still got a couple of guys recovering from surgery at the end of last season, but come the start of next week we will pretty much have a clean bill of health.”

Chester confirmed centre Joe Arundel, who had a knee reconstruction after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury against one of his former club Castleford Tigers last February, is “progressing really well and looks really sharp”.

Miller and second-rower Matty Ashurst both underwent ankle surgery, but are expected to be fit for the scheduled start of the season on March 11, though it is looking increasingly likely that could be put back two weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Milky [Miller] looks good and Tash [Ashurst] had his first session with us on Monday,” Chester added.

“It is good we have got those key players out there on the training field.”

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