The Wakefield Trinity forward aiming to write history in only his fourth game for club

WAKEFIELD forward Luke Bain is making a late bid for Wembley – and says the chance of playing at the national stadium has put a spring in the step of the whole of Daryl Powell’s squad.

The Trinity chief who has piloted his side to the 1895 Cup final and a first appearance at the national stadium since 1979, is no stranger to the place as a player or a coach.

Powell was on the Wembley pitch for Leeds’ Challenge Cup final win over London Broncos in 1999 after helping Great Britain beat New Zealand in 1993 and Australia in 1994 before featuring as England saw off the Kangaroos in the opening match of the 1995 World Cup.

And he was overseeing from the sidelines when Castleford made the Challenge Cup finals of 2014, when they were beaten by Leeds, and 2021 (defeated by St Helens).

It’s a sign of the quality and experience in a playing pool now funded by wealthy owner Matt Ellis that former Challenge Cup finalists Josh Bowden, Luke Gale, Josh Griffin, Derrell Olpherts and Iain Thornley as well as Lachlan Walmsley, and 1895 Cup winner with Halifax last year, have all played at Wembley previously.

But that didn’t drain their desire to go back – and give their teammates who haven’t already had the privilege the chance to run out underneath the arch.

Bain – born in the USA, raised in Australia, where he played in the Parramatta Eels system and for Queensland Cup team Brisbane Tigers, and a Scotland international through heritage – was unavailable for Wakefield’s previous 1895 Cup ties as he was working his way back from a long-term Achilles tendon injury.

But he’s fit and firing now – and would love to make the line-up for the showdown with Sheffield.

Bain made a try-scoring Trinity debut from the bench in last month’s 46-22 win over Swinton at the DIY Kitchens Stadium as Powell’s charges claimed another second-tier scalp in a campaign they hope will bring both 1895 Cup and Championship Grand Final glory to underline their credentials for a return to Super League under IMG’s club-grading system.

And he explained: “Getting to Wembley has brought even more positivity to the squad after a good start to the season.

“There’s always going to be a lot of competition for places in a group like we have here, but this has just added to it. Everyone wants a place in that line-up.”

Bain, who has a contract until 2025, says it’s good to be back in action for the first time in twelve months.

“There’s been a lot of work behind the scenes on rehab and a few blips, so it’s great to be out there,” he added.

“Scoring a try at home on debut was something I couldn’t have scripted better, and I really want to build on it and help take this great club forward.”

First published in League Express newspaper, Issue 3,433 (May 27, 2024)

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