Wakefield Trinity coach Chris Chester believes relegation from Super League should be scrapped due to the season being compromised, before admitting there is an appetite among fellow top-flight coaches to scrap golden point this season.
With a restart date fixed in for Super League next month, attention is already turning to whether promotion and relegation will remain, with many in Super League keen for it to be removed this season due to the unique circumstances the sport finds itself in.
Chester has echoed those calls, becoming one of the first coaches to back the notion of removing relegation, telling League Express: “It’s been my view since day one of this that the whole season has been compromised.
“We’re playing limited numbers of games and while you’ve got to feel sorry for the Championship, there are lopsided fixture lists for everyone in Super League and I don’t see how you can have any form of relegation this year. It’s been a strange year, but the main thing for us is we don’t make the rules, we just play to them and we’ll allow the people who make decisions to hopefully come to the right conclusion.”
Chester’s Wakefield are the only side to lose a game in golden point so far in 2020, when they were beaten by Hull FC. And he admitted his fellow coaches have discussed the possibility of removing the ruling for the remainder of this season.
“We’re looking at bringing in new rules, but are we doing that now or at the end of next season?
“When we spoke as coaches, there was talk of do we want to get rid of golden point and increase interchanges. But I can’t see Hull FC wanting to give us a point back after we got beat by them in golden point!”
Chester admits that if relegation is removed, it will afford him more opportunity to blood the club’s emerging talent without the pressure of playing for a place in Super League next season.
“It’s a chance to nurture these kids, like Jack Croft, Connor Bailey and Yusuf Aydin,” he said.
“They will really benefit from playing in these games. If you take out relegation there’s more of an appetite from us certainly to play our homegrown talent. Some of them are ready and they’re knocking on the door, they’ve really matured over the pre-season and they’ve had a full pre-season under their belts.
“There are four or five kids who are really ready to play first-team rugby and ready to push on. If relegation was off the table we’d be a little bit more relaxed with regards to the players we do bring back over these next three or four weeks. We’re only going to bring 24 back initially and keep the rest on furlough, but we’ll take each day as it comes.”
Wakefield return to training on July 20th, before their first league game on August 8th.