Mark Applegarth hoping to secure return for ex-Wakefield player

Drew Darbyshire
Mark Applegarth Wakefield Trinity SWpix

Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix

Wakefield coach Mark Applegarth has revealed they are hopeful of bringing forward Isaac Shaw back to the club.

The 20-year-old prop left Trinity at the end of last season after failing to agree terms on a new deal.

Shaw has since been plying his trade in the French Elite 1 Championship competition with Villeneuve Leopards.

Wakefield have continued to pay Shaw since his departure because the club would be entitled to compensation if he signed for an RFL member club – but only if Trinity kept paying him.

It was a similar situation for centre Jack Croft, who returned to Wakefield last week on a deal until the end of the season following a stint in the Queensland Cup for Wynnum Manly Seagulls.

When asked if they were hopeful of bringing Shaw back to Belle Vue, Applegarth said: “Yeah, I like Isaac. He is another kid that I’ve known (a long time).

“I remember signing Issac from Emley Moor on to a scholarship at 14, so he’s another kid I’ve known for six or seven years.

“There has been a lot of work happening behind the scenes that probably people don’t appreciate from the board level right through, just trying to get the relationships back where they need to be in terms of that side of the sport.

“All being well, we can look at getting something sorted for Isaac.

“The main thing is that the two lads get back playing.”

Mark Applegarth calls for compensation rule changes

Wakefield continued to pay academy products Croft and Shaw despite them not actually playing for the club because they’d be entitled to compensation if they had signed elsewhere due to them being under the age of 22 by December 1 at the end of their contract year.

As a result, both players weren’t able to join fellow RFL member clubs because Trinity were entitled to compensation, which Yorkshire Live reported to be around £50,000 for Croft and £20,000 for Shaw.

Applegarth said he gets the argument from both sides, but would like to see amendments made to the compensation rulings.

Applegarth said: “I get it from both sides, you can put an argument for both. I think the compensation ruling in my opinion – and all it is, is my opinion – needs changing.

“I’d probably attach compensation after so many games. So for example, if another Super League club signed one of our products, let’s say they play 50 games, there’s X amount of money available and if they’ve played 100 games then there’s another X amount of money.

“I think that’s a logical way of doing it because naturally, players have got to be at the forefront in terms of making sure there is no restriction there but clubs need protecting too in terms of player development.

“If not, you are going to end up with clubs with the most resources just monetising it all so it’s not as easy as that.

“I’m just glad it’s all sorted (with Jack), I’m not saying one side is right and one side is wrong, it has been a bit of a mess but I’m just glad we’ve got it sorted it and we’re not talking about the politics of it all and we can just focus on what’s most important which is playing rugby every week for themselves.”

Wakefield delighted to welcome Jack Croft back to Belle Vue

Jack Croft, SWPix Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix

Applegarth says he is pleased to have Jack Croft back amongst his squad after the centre penned a deal until the end of the season.

He said: “I’ve always been in contact with Jack. He is someone I know well, I’ve know him since he was 15 years old, I’m pretty close to him from a rugby point of view.

“Obviously there were a lot of things that had happened in terms of the compensation rulings and things like that, so once that side of it was sorted, it was a no-brainer really.

“He is a player I never really wanted to lose in the first place but what’s happened, happened, but I’m glad it has all been sorted and he can get back to kicking on with his career and I’m glad it’s with Wakefield Trinity.

“Jack wanted to come back over to England. He’s experienced Australia, he’ll be a better person for experiencing a different culture and all that sort of stuff, but I think he’s just glad to be back home and progressing his life how he wants to over here.”

Wakefield will aim to get their first win of the season at Magic Weekend on Sunday when they meet Leigh, 12pm kick-off.

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