New Wakefield signing encouraged by improvement

Wakefield hooker Stuart Howarth says things are looking up for the Wildcats since the arrival of head coach Brian Smith and a clutch of new signings.

Howarth, who only joined the club from Hull FC three weeks ago, said the Wildcats squad are buying into Smith’s message. “Brian’s an outstanding coach,” he said.

“As soon as he’s come in he’s made an impact. He’s a typical Aussie, a ruthless coach and he’s going to be good for the group.

“Everyone’s really buying into what he’s saying. There’s been some tough sessions and some home truths given to the team really. It’s what’s needed, it’s an important year.

“It’s not franchise any more, it’s obviously relegation, so it’s really an important year for everybody. I think Brian’s experience is only going to help us.”

The signing of Kiwi fullback Locke from Salford was announced last week, while Michael Sio from the Mackay Cutters, Castleford’s Jordan Tansey and St Helen’s Anthony Walker has also been signed.

“It’s massive,” Howarth said.

“I’ve trained and played with Kevin at Salford before and I’ve seen what he can do in the NRL and internationally so it was always going to be a good positive for us.”

Howarth has signed with Wakefield, for the second time, for the next 18 months after struggling to force his way into the first-team at Hull FC this year. The forward made his debut in the loss against Leeds.

“I’m really enjoying myself,” he said

“I just need a bit more game-time from Hull and with Brian the new coach coming in it’s been great to work under him. It was good. It wasn’t the best result because Leeds are a quality team and Wakefield hadn’t won for a while, so we found it tough. But the past is the past and with Brian coming in we can only get better now.

“I don’t think there will be too many more results similar to the one against Leeds where we got beaten quite heavily.”

Howarth injured his wrist against Salford and is expect to miss the back-to-back games against Hull FC.

“I’ve just got a slight wrist problem,” the 25-year old said.

“I’ve been carrying it for a few years but I got a bit more of a severe problem against Salford so I’ve got to give it a couple of weeks to let it settle down. I’ll probably miss those games just to make sure it’s 100% strong and ready to go.”