Wakefield Trinity v Wigan Warriors: Why coach Chris Chester is predicting a shock win for his depleted side
WAKEFIELD TRINITY could be down to 17 available players for today’s visit of Wigan Warriors, but coach Chris Chester insists his side are capable of producing a shock.
Chester has named a 20-man squad, but two of those - Liam Kay and Joe Westerman - are on international duty and Jacob Miller is doubtful because of a foot injury. Trinity are definitely without Reece Lyne, who is in the England squad for tomorrow and fellow centre Bill Tupou suffered a ruptured patellar tendon in the loss to Castleford Tigers eight days ago.
He is facing a six-month recovery time, but Chester expects him to be back in action at the start of next season.
Chester admitted England call-ups and uncertainty over who would be selected for the All Stars have made preparations difficult and feels the international fixture should have been given a stand-alone date, not clashing with a Super League round.
But he stressed: “We have got a team out there this week that’s more than capable of getting a result against a young, hungry Wigan side. We have worked hard this week and we’re looking forward to seeing what this young team can do.
Wigan have three players on international duty and, with injuries and suspensions taking their toll, coach Adrian Lam has named only an 18-man squad.
Meanwhile, the head coach conceded that Westerman’s decision to join Castleford next year is “disappointing”, but said he understands the loose-forward’s reasons.
Chester revealed Westerman turned down a bigger offer from Trinity to return to his hometown club and believes uncertainty over his own future was also a factor. Chester is out of contract this autumn, but said he is comfortable with the situation and has had informal talks with the club.
Forward Matty Ashurst has signed a new contract, keeping him at Trinity until the end of 2023.
Wakefield Trinity (from): Jowitt, Johnstone, Kay, Miller, Lino, Fifita, K Wood, Arona, Ashurst, Westerman, Pitts, Battye, Batchelor, Senior, Crowther, Arundel, B Walker, Aydin, Kershaw, Hampshire.
Wigan Warriors (from): Manfredi, Gildart, Marshall, Leuluai, Powell, Bullock, Isa, Partington, Smithies, Byrne, Smith, Havard, Bibby, Shorrocks, Pearce-Paul, McDonnell, Hanley, O’Neil.
Referee: Tom Grant (Leeds).
Kick-off: Today, 7.45pm.
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