Tom Johnstone is as good as any winger in Super League and must make England’s World Cup squad.
That’s the verdict of his Wakefield team-mate Reece Lyne after Johnstone produced a devastating first-half performance to rip apart Salford last weekend.
Johnstone scored two tries and created others for Jacob Miller and Lyne himself, all before half-time. The winger was then withdrawn by coach Willie Poching as a precaution.
Just Tom Johnstone doing Tom Johnstone things 🤯 pic.twitter.com/hd2aqZtXLl
— Wakefield Trinity (@WTrinityRL) April 4, 2022
And despite Johnstone being left out of Shaun Wane’s initial training squad, his current form means he has to be back in there before the end of the season according to Lyne.
Lyne told Love Rugby League: “A fit Tom Johnstone is as good a winger in the competition as anyone.
“He’s got all the attributes to be a world-class winger and his leadership qualities are developing too which is great to see.
“When he’s played he’s been tremendous. So if he can get a bit of luck and keep injury-free I’m pretty certain he will be knocking on the door for a World Cup spot at the end of the season.”
Tom Johnstone must leave no alternative
Resurgent Wakefield have won their last three games, and face Wigan in the Challenge Cup this Sunday.
Coach Willie Poching has also backed Johnstone to add to his solitary England cap.
He said: “He has to be consistent, and give the selectors no decision to make other than to put him in the squad.
“Keep playing like he has been for us when he’s been out there. Keep being dangerous and show the selectors he’s worthy of that position and that spot.”
Johnstone wasn’t part of Shaun Wane’s first training squad of the year, made up of 30 Super League players.
Wingers who made the cut included Tom Davies (Catalans), Ryan Hall (Hull KR), Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield), Tommy Makinson (St Helens) and Liam Marshall (Wigan).