Wakefield Wildcats: Miller out to make most of fresh start

Jacob Miller.
Jacob Miller.
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AUSTRALIAN RECRUIT Jacob Miller is determined to rebuild his career at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.

Miller has joined Wildcats on a one-year deal and began pre-season training this week.

The 22-year-old has been offered a “fresh start” after being released from the final year of his Hull contract earlier this month.

He joined the East Yorkshire club from Wests Tigers midway through the 2013 season, but fell out of favour toward the end of last year.

Despite being tipped as a future star when he arrived in England, Miller made only 24 appearances for Hull, including the 2013 Challenge Cup final defeat by Wigan Warriors.

“I am looking forward to it,” he said of his Wakefield career. “It is a fresh start, something new and exciting.

“It was my first day on Monday and it was good. They have a great bunch of blokes, the players were really good, nice and welcoming.

“It was a tough first day, I got a bit of a touch-up, but I am really looking forward to the next 12 months.”

Miller, who can play at stand-off or scrum-half, admitted his initial target at Wakefield is to get some games under his belt.

“That’s my first priority,” he said.

“I didn’t play much footy this year, which was a bit disappointing.

“To get more game time is the plan, but there’s a long way to go before any of that happens.

“At the moment, I am just getting to know the people around me and the environment and getting myself fit.

“That’s what it’s all about at this time of year.”

A former Australian Schoolboy international, Miller made his NRL debut aged only 18 and played nine times in two seasons at Wests before switching to Super League.

He was the latest in a long line of play-makers to struggle under the spotlight at Hull, but Wildcats coach James Webster plans to use his new signing in a different role playing off scrum-half Tim Smith, who will have responsibility for steering the team around the field.

Miller said he has yet to discuss tactics with Webster – himself a former half-back – but he believes Wildcats have the sort of squad which will suit his playing style.

“I’ve not really spoken too much about my role with James,” said Miller.

“When we spoke a few weeks ago he just said there was an opportunity here for me.

“I think the club has signed pretty well over the last year and they are getting a really good squad together.

“All the boys are really close, which helps and I think we’ve got a handy team.

“We’ve got a big pack, people like Ali (Lauitiiti) and Lopini Paea, who are big boys and it makes my job easier when you’ve got a big pack to play behind.

“I think we can go well next year.

“The team responded well to James when he took over last season and he is very smart from what I’ve heard and what I’ve gauged.

“Hopefully, we can surprise a few people next year.”

Wildcats’ first opportunity to make a statement of intent will come on Boxing Day when they visit Leeds Rhinos for their opening pre-season game.

Both clubs are expected to field a strong side and Miller said he is keen to pull on a Wildcats shirt for the first time.

“I am looking forward to it,” he stated.

“The new season is coming around pretty quickly and it will be good to get back into it.”

Meanwhile, Wildcats fans are being urged to buy season tickets at early bird prices this week, before the cost increases on December 1.

RFL director of rugby, Kevin Sinfield. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

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