Coach Chester leaves Wakefield

CHRIS CHESTER  has left Wakefield, leaving Willie Poching as caretaker coach.

The development comes with Trinity second-bottom of Super League, having won only four out of 17 matches this year.

Chester’s side lost 22-18 at Huddersfield on Sunday, having been 18-0 up at one stage.

Last season, Wakefield finished second-bottom and in 2019, needed a last-round victory over London Broncos to ensure top-flight survival.

Former Hull KR coach Chester, 42, took charge of his home-city club in March 2016, while ex-Trinity player Poching, 47, was appointed his assistant in September, having previously worked alongside Tony Smith at Hull KR.

Wakefield chief executive Michael Carter said: ”It’s always a sad and difficult decision when change is needed, but the board felt that the time was right.

“For many reasons, we are stuck in a rut, and have an incredibly important period coming up, where the future of Super League will be defined.

“Chris came in at a low point for the club, and for me personally, and completely changed things around.

“Under his leadership we played some of the best rugby this club has seen in Super League in 2018 and 2019.

“Sadly, the last two years have been difficult for many reasons with injuries and Covid decimating us at times.

“There have been numerous occasions where we could have sought a postponement but played on with weakened teams, and ultimately that has reflected on Chris.

“He has also never been given the opportunity to spend the full salary cap. To truly compete these days, clubs need either a wealthy benefactor or large crowds and substantial off-field income, none of which Chris has ever enjoyed here. At times, it must have felt like coaching with both hands tied behind his back.

“Chez will be remembered as a success at this club, and one who always had its best interests at heart. I wish him every success for the future.”

Club chairman John Minards added: “On behalf of the whole board, I would like to thank Chris for all his great work at out club.

“He has brought great commitment, dedication and skill to the difficult role of Wakefield Trinity head coach.

“For me personally, it is the outstanding honesty and integrity that has marked Chris out during our time working together.

“We wish him every success in the future. He will always be welcome here.”

Poching’s first match at the helm is at home to Warrington, where he also had a spell as assistant coach, on Sunday.