How a new diet is fuelling Tom Johnstone’s Wakefield Trinity comeback

Tom Johnstone says he feels back to full health following his concussion problems and he believes he will be better than ever after having made changes to his approach, including his diet.

The Wakefield Trinity winger missed much of last season, having suffered three concussions during the year. But he is relieved to have been give the all-clear and be looking forward to the new campaign.

“I’m symptom-free, I’ve not had anything since the end of last year,” said Johnstone, who has scored 74 tries in 96 Super League appearances for Trinity.

“It’s a massive relief. For a while, even though I wasn’t having symptoms, I didn’t feel fully okay in myself. I don’t know what it was. 

“I was always itching, like wanting to move and do something, I couldn’t sit comfortably. 

“But now I’m feeling miles better; I haven’t had anything wrong with me and I’m just trying to focus on the rugby side of it.”

The lay-off has given Johnstone the opportunity to reflect on aspects of his preparation, including working with a speed coach to help gain an extra yard.

He has also been focusing on his diet with the help of a nutritionist, admitting that in the past he was guilty of many bad habits, which meant he has probably never been in peak shape.

“I’ve stopped eating a lot of junk food,” said Johnstone.

“I was quite lazy, if I didn’t want to cook on an evening, I’d just order something in or pick something up. 

“Looking at it now, when you’re supposed to be a professional rugby player, it sounds quite bizarre that I’ve only just done that at this point in my career. 

“I’m eating new things. It sounds silly again, but I’m trying to incorporate a lot of vegetables into the diet.

“I’m still making nice meals that are enjoyable, but things that will fuel me and make my body composition how I want it to be.”

If he can stay free of further concussion and injury troubles, Johnstone believes that he is capable of a standout season for Wakefield.

“I want a big year,” he said.

“This is what I’ve been building towards for the past few years and it’s not clicked for one reason or another. 

“I didn’t look after myself away from rugby to reach where I want to be. 

“Now I’ve stepped away and looked at myself, rather than point the finger at other people and I’ve done want I need to do.”

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.