Trying to make sense of latest Super League player swap deal as Wakefield fans voice their concerns

Josh McAllister
Corey Hall, Wakefield Trinity, Will Dagger, Hull KR.

Eyebrows have been raised after Wakefield allowed exciting young prospect Corey Hall to join Hull KR as part of a deal to sign full-back Will Dagger.

Some disgruntled fans have gone so far as to say they are ‘disgusted’ in seeing the talented youngster let go with another year left on his contract.

However, Dagger arrives at a club that are short on fully fit players, especially at full-back.

First-choice number one Max Jowitt was ruled out of action for up to three months earlier in March after sustaining a ‘freak’ ankle injury in the captain’s run ahead of their clash with Wigan.

Lee Gaskell filled in during the 60-0 defeat at the DW Stadium, before Liam Kay took over at the back. But it hasn’t been enough as Wakefield remain winless in 2023 and with the lowest points scored with just 43 – just seven tries.

It’s been an injury-hit start to Mark Applegarth’s head coaching career at Wakefield, much like to the one Danny McGuire endured during his time as interim boss of Hull KR last season.

Wakefield fans left bemused after seeing Corey Hall released

Much to the credit of Hall’s ability, Wakefield fans have been left puzzled after seeing the 20-year-old released early in order to make the swap deal happen. But Dagger will provide Wakefield much needed experience in a key position.

The 24-year-old has made 46 Super League appearances to date, but found himself behind Scotland international Lachlan Coote in the pecking order at Craven Park.

Whenever called upon though, Dagger has usually delivered. He produced a fine effort in the 24-10 victory over Salford just earlier this season, as well as converting all four tries for his side.

He made his professional debut with Warrington back in 2017 before joining the Robins the following season. Dagger found himself behind Adam Quinlan before Coote’s arrival, and now at the age of 24, is no doubt desperate for consistency on the field in his career.

And seeing fans’ replies to his release, it’s clear to see he was admired at Hull KR by the supporters.

“He never let the club down”

Ex-Rhino Hall is no doubt an eye-catching prospect in the British game, having made his debut with Leeds back in 2020 and going on to make three more appearances before joining Wakefield in 2022. He has made 34 Super League appearances to date, scoring eight tries.

But Wakefield do have the likes of Reece Lyne and Samisoni Langi in their centre position – both of which are experienced players in the game. 

And while it may seem a disappointment to Wakefield fans to see Hall go, with his contract running until the end of 2024, the immediate swap is an attempt to keep their season alive, with their fight against relegation becoming more of a losing battle with every loss. 

Hull KR have no doubt been handed a major boost in the deal, adding to their centre depth that includes captain Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Tom Opacic.

Hall is only 20, while ex-NRL’s Kenny-Dowall could be in the final year of his career after signing just a one-year contract for 2023 under Willie Peters, currently aged 35.

But if Dagger manages to stay fit and keep Wakefield in the battle, it could be seen as a major turning point in their season and one fans may look back on with delight.

No pressure, Will.

FULL STORY: Hull KR snap up top young talent in swap deal with Wakefield