Wakefield only have 17 players available; but St Helens game will go ahead

Wakefield coach Chris Chester says he has just 17 players available for Friday’s Super League home game against champions St Helens after further Covid-19 disruption.

With 10 players on the injury list, Chester was only able to name a 19-man squad and he revealed at his press conference on Thursday that one of them is injured and the other has been forced to stand down due to Covid protocols.

Chester said: “We’ve had major disruption. We’ve had to stand one player down for 10 days after a positive test and we’ve sent another player home this morning.

“So there’s obviously something lingering around, the Under-19s have had some issues as well.

“We can fulfil our fixtures. We’re literally down to 17 players for tomorrow’s game. I know I named 19 but one of them is injured and one has had to be stood down.

“It’s tough at the minute. Everyone is going through it.

“But we were proud of what we did last year in fulfilling all our fixtures and we’re certainly going to try and do that again this year.”

Among the injured players is England winger Tom Johnstone, who has undergone knee surgery.

Chester said: “Tom went for an operation on Tuesday. Fortunately for us it’s the best-case scenario because it was a clean-out and we’re probably looking at top end four to six weeks.”

Tom Johnstone underwent surgery on Tuesday

Earlier this week, Wakefield announced that forward Jordan Crowther has signed a new deal that will see him remain at the club until at least the end of 2023.

The 24-year-old, who came through the club’s academy, has made 61 appearances for Trinity since making his first team debut for the club in 2014.

Crowther said: “I’m over the moon to stay at Trinity. I’ve been a Wakey lad all the way through growing up and it was always my first choice to stay, so I’m happy it’s over the line now.

“I always wanted to stay here. It’s been a frustrating year for me with injuries and I just want to pay back the faith that’s been shown in me and get plenty of game time next year.”