WAKEFIELD TRINITY have made a number of stellar signings for their first season back in the Championship since 1998.
The likes of hardened Super League men Jermaine McGillvary, Iain Thornley and Josh Griffin all have plenty of Super League games under their belts and will help give Trinity the vital experience they will need to brush aside a tough Championship competition.
Amongst the signings, however, is flying winger Lachlan Walmsley, who made the off-season move from the Halifax Panthers after registering 64 tries in 52 games for the West Yorkshire side.
Of course, the aim for Walmsley is to eventually make it to Super League – something which has failed to occur so far in his time in England to one major reason.
“The direction they are going in, I want to play Super League and always have done since I made the move to England. Wakefield were interested in me so I was obviously keen to come here,” Walmsley told League Express.
“I haven’t had that much of a chance to make it in Super League because I count as a quota player – it is the only thing that has really stopped me – even though I have that Scottish heritage with my grandpa.
“It has stopped me a few times when trying to pursue that dream of Super League.”
So what does Walmsley think of head coach Daryl Powell?
“He has been good and so have Shenny and Kirmo (assistant coaches Michael Shenton and Danny Kirmond). We have been doing a lot of skill-based games and they’ve improved me defensively. My game has definitely improved since I signed here.
“Daryl has got all the accolades anyway. He has been a great coach and has been part of Super League for a long time. He knows what he is talking about and what he is doing.
“They have improved my skill – we do a lot more skills. Defensive techniques such as tackling one on one has also been a focus – it just helps improve my game.”
Pre-season is notoriously difficult as players get used to new surroundings, new teammates and often new coaching staff, but Walmsley has hailed the one at Wakefield “the best” he has had in the UK.
“It’s been good so far, it’s been the best pre-season since I’ve been over here. It’s been the most enjoyable but we are also working hard.
“We spent a week camp in Wales and we got a bit out of that. We picked up a few things and it was good for team bonding. We went water rafting and it was freezing.
“It had its tough bits about it. It was more about getting 13 v 13 based team stuff so we could get some ball work done and set up how we will play next year.”
League Express is widely available from local newsagents across the north of England.