Chester bats away Johnstone transfer rumours

Wakefield Trinity are interested in Warrington winger Tom Lineham, but coach Chris Chester has scotched suggestions of Tom Johnstone going the other way.

Lineham has said he is leaving the Wolves when his contract expires at the end of the season, and Trinity are among a number of clubs keen on the 28-year-old England Knights international, who has scored more than 80 tries since switching from Hull in 2016.

They already have Johnstone, who is currently out with a knee injury, and Liam Kay contracted to the end of 2022, but Chester insisted Leeds-born Lineham, who started his career at York, would be an addition rather than a replacement.

“The speculation with regards to signing Tom Lineham is that we were going to lose somebody, but we don’t want to lose one of our best players,” said Chester of England international Johnstone.

“Our CEO has spoken to their CEO and he’s given the old Donald Trump thing with ‘fake news’, and that’s good enough for me.

“In terms of Tom (Johnstone), he doesn’t need any distractions at this moment in time, his main focus is getting back playing and playing well and getting a good run of games behind him.”

It’s a second injury lay-off of the season for 25-year-old Johnstone, who previously suffered concussion problems.
Wakefield also have backrower Jordan Crowther out with a knee problem.

Chester’s men are eleventh after their 25-12 defeat at Wigan on Friday, and are now preparing to play Catalans in France on Thursday before returning to host Salford on Monday, August 2.

The above content is also available in the regular weekly edition of League Express, on newsstands every Monday in the UK and as a digital download. Click here for more details.