Tom Johnstone has agreed a new contract with Wakefield Trinity – and half-back Ryan Hampshire could be next to follow in his footsteps.
Trinity last week secured a massive coup in convincing the England Knights winger to extend his current contract – which ran until the end of the 2020 season – and send out a statement of intent to their Super League rivals.
Johnstone’s new deal does not have any release clauses inserted into it allowing him to join an NRL or Super League club, and chairman Michael Carter admitted he was delighted.
“Tom is showing our commitment to us, and we’ve shown our commitment to Tom,” Carter said. “He’ll be well remunerated for this deal, but he’s an exciting player and he’s the type of player that I want to build the club around.”
And Johnstone is likely to be joined at the Mobile Rocket Stadium in 2019 by half-back Hampshire, who has impressed coach Chris Chester during his first season with the club.
Hampshire was signed on the eve of the current campaign but has gone on to become a mainstay of Chester’s side, usurping Liam Finn at scrum-half.
And Chester has now admitted talks have begun with Hampshire over a new deal.
“We’d love to keep him,” Chester said. “I’ve spoke to Rocky, as has (chairman) Michael Carter, and we want to keep him here. he’s comfortable here, he’s enjoying his rugby here and he’s had an extended run in the halves – which is what I promised him.
“With the ball he’s very talented, and while he knows teams are going to target him, he’s ore than held his own. I’m enjoying working with him because he brings something different, and he’s a real threat with the ball.
“Throw in his versatility, and I’d like to keep him. Rocky knows that and it’s up to the club to sort the numbers.”