Wakefield Trinity to make late call on England winger Tom Johnstone for Super League trip to Warrington Wolves
A late call will be made on whether Tom Johnstone plays for Wakefield Trinity away to Warrington Wolves on Friday, coach Chris Chester says.
The winger has been sidelined for two months, since suffering two concussions in successive games, but Chester confirmed he is now “good to go”.
Trinity back up at home to Castleford Tigers on Wednesday next week and Chester revealed Johnstone will play in one of those games, but probably not both.
“He has been out for nine weeks and missed seven or eight games and we’ve got to make sure we do the right thing by Tom,” Chester pledged.
“Whether that’s play him on Friday and not Wednesday, or don’t play him Friday, but do on Wednesday, it is something we need to have a good think about.
“We have discussed it as a staff and we’ll make a call on Friday.
“We’re also mindful Tom has to go on Monday to an England session, so we have got to be mindful of his schedule between now and next Wednesday.”
Chester admitted Johnstone is a long shot to play in England’s game against Combined Nations All Stars in two weeks’ time, but insisted: “We have got to make sure Tom is in the best shape he has been in, to give him a really good chance of getting into the World Cup at the end of the year.
“That’s the target.”
England coach Shaun Wane visited Trinity on Tuesday to speak to players and staff and sit in on their review of last Sunday's win over Leigh Centurions.
Chester said several Trinity players were discussed as possible England candidates, including Johnstone, centre Reece Lyne and loose-forward Joe Westerman.
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Meanwhile, forward Kelepi Tanginoa has not been ruled out of Friday’s game despite suffering a “really bad dead leg” against Leigh.
Chester said: “It’s just above the kneecap, it is really swollen around his knee, but he has got full movement there.
“We will assess him and if he can do the team run on Thursday, then he gives himself an opportunity to play on Friday.
“He’s another one we will wait until the last second to decide on.”
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