This story first appeared in this Monday’s League Express. To ensure you don’t have to wait and get stories like this delivered straight to your smart device every Sunday as soon as the paper is released, simply click here.
Wakefield Trinity coach Chris Chester has admitted he would like to see the sport introduce a mandatory break for all players who feature on international duty before they return to training.
Currently, England internationals are required to have a mandatory period of time off before they start pre-season training again – the same, however, is not applicable to players who feature for Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
And whereas some World Cup players are already back in pre-season training, Chester has given his two internationals – Scott Grix and Liam Finn – four weeks off without hesitation, and he told League Express he would back a change to the rules meaning all players are entitled to at least a month off.
“I’d support it, without a shadow of a doubt,” he said. “I’ve seen that some lads are back in pre-season training after a couple of weeks off and it’s just not enough.
“You have to give them time off; they have a long, hard season and they play a hell of a lot of games. Whether it’s four, five or even six weeks, it’s support a mandatory break.”
Chester also revealed that the amount of games Finn and Grix played for Wakefield last season – Finn missed only one Super League game, while Grix was absent for just three – meant it is in Trinity’s best interests to ensure they return fit and fresh.
They will return to training next week.
“They just need a break,” he said. “It’s a long season Grixy and Finny missed a handful of games between them.
“It’s important they get away and spend time with their families – it was always our plan to give some time off so they come back pretty lively.”
One player who will train with Wakefield this week for the first time, though, is new signing Justin Horo.
Horo, who has joined Trinity from Catalans Dragons, has already met his new team-mates but will start pre-season training this week.
Chester said: “Justin landed in the country at the back end of last week to meet everyone, before flying back to Catalans to sort all his things out.
“He flew back in Sunday night and trained with the lads on Monday. It’s a big boost to get him, and everyone else, back in so early. We’re four weeks into pre-season now and everyone’s looking really good.”