Jorge Taufua sets out Wakefield Trinity ambitions after painful injury setback

JORGE TAUFUA is looking to put his injury misery behind him and show Wakefield Trinity what he can do.

The 31-year-old winger played over 160 matches across eleven seasons with Manly Sea Eagles, while representing both Tonga and Samoa at international level.

He swapped the NRL for Super League last July, signing with Wakefield on a deal until the end of the 2023 season.

At the time Trinity were close to the foot of the table and relegation was a serious prospect, with Taufua’s arrival intended to be the lift that would help them escape any threat of the drop.

Instead he broke his arm in only his second appearance for the club, against eventual champions St Helens, and was sidelined for the rest of the campaign.

Wakefield found the form required to stay up in his absence, while Taufua has recovered from surgery – the eleventh of an increasingly unfortunate career – to make himself available for new head coach Mark Applegarth at the beginning of the new season.

“I’m still gaining confidence, coming back from my injury, but I’m good enough to play,” Taufua told League Express.

“To come all this way and be sidelined like that straight away, I felt I didn’t have enough momentum or time to prove myself over here. I look forward to doing that this season.

“The staff and the boys were good last year, always checking on me. I only came (to the UK) on my own but the boys are awesome, that kept me quite included. 

“That was very important, otherwise being homesick may have been a factor.

“I couldn’t do much just being sidelined, but I thought they finished (the season) strongly. I guess that’s the positive. But that was last year, and that was that squad. We’re a new team under a new coach.

“I think the first month will give us a gauge of where we’re at. It won’t happen straight away, personally or collectively. It’ll be good to see where we’re at compared to the rest.”

Wakefield have been tipped for relegation this year by many, but Taufua, who was in the 21-man squad but not the matchday squad for Friday’s home game against Catalans, feels they have a much better squad than those predictions suggest.

“All that matters is what we believe in, in our squad, and what we can produce,” he said.

“I came over personally to play well, to challenge the top teams and to achieve success, not to just survive. I didn’t come here for that.”