Wakefield part ways with coach Chris Chester

Drew Darbyshire

Wakefield have parted ways with head coach Chris Chester.

Chester took charge of Trinity in March 2016 and led the club to its best-ever Super League finishes in 2017 and 2018. However, they have won just four games this season and find themselves second bottom in the Super League table.

Willie Poching will become Wakefield’s head coach on an interim basis with immediate effect.

Wakefield chief executive Michael Carter said: “It’s always a sad and difficult decision when change is needed, but the board felt that the time was right for change.

“For many reasons we are stuck in a rut, and have an incredibly important period coming up, where the future of Super League will be defined.

“Chris came in at a low point for the club and for me personally, and completely changed things around. Under his leadership we played some of the best rugby this club has seen in Super League in 2018 and 2019.

“Sadly, the last two years have been difficult for many reasons with injuries and COVID decimating us at times. There have been numerous occasions where we could have sought a postponement but played on with weakened teams, and ultimately that has reflected on Chris. He has also never been given the opportunity to spend the full salary cap. To truly compete these days, clubs need either a wealthy benefactor or large crowds and substantial off field income, none of which Chris has ever enjoyed here. At times, it must have felt like coaching with both hands tied behind his back.

“Chez will be remembered as a success at this club, and one who always had its best interests at heart. I wish him every success for the future.”

Trinity chairman John Minards added: “On behalf of the whole board I would like to thank Chris for all his great work at out club.

“He has brought great commitment, dedication and skill to the difficult role of Wakefield Trinity head coach. For me personally, however, it is the outstanding honesty and integrity that has marked Chris out during our time working together. We wish him every success in the future. He will always be welcome here at Belle Vue.”