Wakefield coach Chris Chester believes that John Kear’s involvement in the World Cup could give the club an advantage in identifying potential transfer targets for 2018.
Trinity head of rugby Kear is currently coaching Wales at the World Cup, and with Trinity still on the hunt for players for next season, Chester told League Express this past Monday that with part of the coaching staff seeing likely targets first-hand, it could help Wakefield steal a march on their rivals.
They are still in discussions with Pauli Pauli over a potential move, but Chester stressed there is no need to panic.
“John has already tipped me off about some big names who are available for 2019!” he laughed.
“I’m not sure whether they fit into our budget but John’s still working for Wakefield while he’s out there! He can keep a really close eye on the tournament and with us having some quota spots we can still fill, we’ll just bide our time, watch the situation and see how it pans out for us on the recruitment front.”
Chester added: “We’re keeping our powder dry for a half-back and a front-rower but look, there’s no panic, there’s lots of players that become available at this time of the year.”
The Wakefield coach also revealed how close they came to securing a deal for half-back Jamie Ellis, before he instead opted for an 11th-hour switch to West Yorkshire rivals Castleford instead of signing for Trinity.
“If I’m being honest, we thought we’d got that deal over the line,” he said. “It was looking really good in that regard but he chose Castleford, and that was his decision. Good luck to him.
“We’ve spoken to a number of players in England and a few overseas, it’s just a bit of a slow process.”
Meanwhile, League Express understands that Keegan Hirst will be part of Chester’s squad for 2018.
He signed an initial one-year deal with an option for an extra year in the player’s favour. Chester refused to comment on whether that option has yet been determined, but it is understood Hirst remains likely to stay with the club in 2018 after a solid first season as a Super League player.
Trinity’s younger players return for pre-season training today (Monday), before the rest of the first-team squad begin next week as they begin to prepare for the Boxing Day friendly against Leeds.