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The unsung hero of Wakefield Trinity

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With three of their players named in the 2018 Super League Dream Team, it’s no surprise to any who the poster boys for Wakefield Trinity are right now. Matty Ashurst, Bill Tupou and Tom Johnstone – who, along with Reece Lyne, earned international honours post-season – were all superb last season and thoroughly earned their spots in the competition’s team of the year.

However, all three of those players play on the left-side of Trinity’s attack and they all play outside Australian half-back Jacob Miller who, despite being the competition’s leading provider of assists with 28, was overlooked for the Dream Team.

Now, that isn’t to say that St Helens’ pair Jonny Lomax and Danny Richardson weren’t worthy of their half-back nominations but Miller’s influence over Chris Chester’s Wakefield team was arguably more vital for Trinity than either of the Saints players was for the League Leader Shield winners. After all, Wakey are a team who, having recorded back-to-back fifth placed finishes, are certainly punching above their financial weight and the impact a talent like Miller has on that team is clear.

The main organiser in Trinity’s ranks in 2018, he provided countless opportunities for Ashurst, Tupou and Johnstone to shine outside him on the left flank. While Wakefield lined up with the likes of Liam Finn and Ryan Hampshire alongside him in the halves, Miller was nigh-on a permanent fixture in the team when fit and his standing as the team’s on-field leader was cemented in the off-season when he was named club captain ahead of the 2019 season.

It will be interesting to see how the arrival of former Trinity man Danny Brough joins Miller in the starting thirteen. Given Miller’s strong relationships with the three Dream Teamers on the left hand side, he will most probably continue in that role but the left edge is indeed where Brough has lined up during his time with Huddersfield and may well be picked to play there. It shouldn’t be ignored, either, that the pair of them will both be keen to be the tactical director on the field. That, again, is somewhere Miller shone in 2018 but Brough has the reputation of being one of the very best at organising a team in Super League – while also boasting a sterling kicking game.

Nevertheless, Jacob Miller was without a shadow of a doubt one of Trinity’s very best players last year and is the one who makes Chester’s team tick. His ability to provide for his teammates is second-to-none and, with the new structure ensuring that the fifth placed team reaches the end of season play-offs in 2019, a repeat of their 2017 and 2018 showings will see Miller and Wakefield take part in the post season drama come the autumn.

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Super League Wakefield Trinity

New Trinity captain pays testament to Kirmond

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After being announced as the club’s new captain for 2019, Wakefield Trinity’s Jacob Miller praised the influence of predecessor Danny Kirmond. When the forward was injured in 2018, the Australian half-back took up the mantle and Chris Chester revealed that the former Hull FC pivot would replace Kirmond for 2019.

“I am very privileged and honoured to captain this club,” 26-year-old Miller told the media. “When I joined this club four years ago, I never thought I would be captain but I was over the moon when Chezzy [Chris Chester] told me in the break that I was going to be captain,” he continued. Back-rower Kirmond will still hold the role of club captain for 2019 with Miller’s role being more on-field and the pivot admitted that fan-favourite Kirmond would always be the leader of the club. “He will always be the captain and the leader of this team. He is an influential player on and off the field that this team needs. I’ll do my bit on the field where I can but Kirmo will be the leader of this club,” he explained.

Former Huddersfield Giants man and 2013 Man of Steel Danny Brough has been named vice-captain on his return to Trinity, the club he left in 2010.

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Super League Wakefield Trinity

Chester extends Trinity reign

CHESTER
Chris Chester. Image from wakefieldexpress.co.uk

Chris Chester has signed a new three-year deal with Wakefield Trinity after enjoying an impressive period as head coach of the club since joining in March 2016.

Despite inferior resources to many of their Super League rivals, former Hull KR boss Chester has guided the Belle Vue club to successive fifth placed finishes in the past two seasons and has seen key players like Tom Johnstone and Reece Lyne awarded with international call ups this post-season.

Chester’s original deal was due to expire at the end of the 2019 campaign and Wakefield owner Michael Carter was delighted to announce his extension. “We have been having a chat for six months about tying Chris down for a further length of time,” he told the media, adding that “it is fantastic news for everyone associated with the club.”

Chester, who also is joint-head coach of Scotland’s national team, was pleased to have put pen to paper, saying that “we are very settled here, I am a Wakefield Trinity fan and a Wakefield lad and I am delighted to have agreed another three years.”

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Super League Wakefield Trinity

Brough to return to former club

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Danny Brough is set to complete a move back to former club Wakefield Trinity and the deal will be confirmed early next week.

Having represented Huddersfield since 2010 – winning Super League’s Man of Steel award in 2013 – 35-year-old Brough formerly wore the Wakefield jersey for the 2008 and 2009 campaigns. In his first season with the club, after joining from local rivals Castleford, the former Scotland international won the prestigious Albert Goldthorpe Medal. In his first spell with the club, Brough scored almost 500 points for Trinity in 57 appearances.

The experienced half-back’s move is part of a swap deal between Trinity and the Giants with Wakefield’s Scott Grix having already completed a move to Huddersfield – another moving to a former club. Chris Chester, Trinity’s head coach, is believed to be keen to add a strong kicking game to a team which suffered a series of narrow defeats in 2018 and Brough possesses arguably the best tactical kicking game in Super League.