Covid cases at Wakefield offers youngsters their chance

Wakefield Trinity have reported another Covid-19 case.

Coach Chris Chester confirmed another player has tested positive, resulting in nine players in total being stood down ahead of Thursday’s game with Hull FC.

“It is tough for every team, and every side has had some difficulties over the last three or four weeks,” said Chester. “We’ve certainly had our fair share these last two weeks.

“We’ve got nine players stood down plus two important members of our medical staff. We picked up a couple (of positive tests) before the Catalans game and had another one during the week, so we’ve had to stand down a few players for certain reasons.”

As a result, Chester will hand opportunities to a number of his young players this week, including Connor Bailey, Yusuf Aydin and Titus Gwaze, while Ben Jones-Bishop will return from illness.

“It’s certainly a good opportunity for me to look at those (young) guys and see how they cope with the demands of the training, day in day out, and on matchday,” Chester said.

“Connor Bailey has been there or thereabouts for the last couple of weeks. He’s a player I really admire, has worked hard on his game and been exceptional for the Under 19s for a couple of seasons.

“It’s a good opportunity to see how he goes and I am excited to see how Yusuf and Titus go as well.

“I think both teams have put out very young squads, although probably Hull FC’s reasons are a bit different to ours. It’s a great opportunity for these young kids, and it’s up to the kids now to really shine.

“The main thing, I think, is just doing their job to their best of their ability; not to overplay and try to impress too much. They have impressed in training hence why they’re being picked in the team.

“It’s great. I’ve said it many a time, with young players like Crofty, Connor Bailey and Yusuf, this is probably the best crop of youngster we’ve had since Tom breaking through, Max Jowitt and Jordy Crowther all those years ago.

“I’m excited to be seeing them play against men, and how they are developing physically.”