WITH most Super League clubs having completed their recruitment for 2023, most eyes will be firmly fixed on retention.
Super League clubs will be looking eagerly at the May 1 deadline which signals the beginning of when out of contract stars can begin to negotiate with other sides.
For Wakefield Trinity, it’s set to be a massive year in terms of retentions with 17 players out of contract at the end of the 2023 Super League season.
Those 17 are: Matty Ashurst, Renouf Atoni (option of a further year), Eddie Battye, Josh Bowden, Rob Butler, Harry Bowes, Jordy Crowther, Lee Gaskell, Max Jowitt, Liam Kay, Lee Kershaw, Mason Lino, Lewis Murphy, Jay Pitts, Kevin Proctor, Jorge Taufua, Dane Windrow.
Of course, new signings Atoni and Proctor will be wanting big seasons in their first year in West Yorkshire, with the former already impressing on his debut against Leeds Rhinos on Boxing Day whilst Taufua suffered an injury towards the end of 2022.
Ashurst will be Trinity captain in 2023 so it perhaps remains a formality for the second-rower to extend his contract at the club.
Local talent Harry Bowes, Jordy Crowther, Max Jowitt, Lee Kershaw, Lewis Murphy and Dane Windrow will be hoping to get significant game time under their belts to impress head coach Mark Applegarth.
Battye, Gaskell, Kay and Pitts offer a great a deal of experience which could be crucial for Applegarth in his baptism of fire with Bowden and Butler hoping for big years after being deemed surplus to requirements from Hull FC and Warrington Wolves in 2022.
Keeping Lino at Belle Vue will be pivotal, too, with the halfback impressing greatly since making the move back in 2021. The 28-year-old will be the lynchpin of this Trinity side since captain Jacob Miller moved on at the end of 2022.