Wakefield Trinity recruitment manager provides squad update: ‘We’d like one or two more’ but will not panic buy

Aaron Bower
Lachlan Walmsley, Jermaine McGillvary and Iain Thornley Wakefield Trinity Alamy

Lachlan Walmsley, Jermaine McGillvary and Iain Thornley have joined Wakefield Trinity ahead of 2024 - Alamy

Wakefield Trinity recruitment manager Ste Mills has insisted the club will not panic buy in their attempts to put a squad together to not only win the Championship in 2024, but to potentially make an impact in Super League the following year if they are promoted through IMG’s grading system.

Trinity have rebuilt their squad in the off-season following relegation from Super League, with only a handful of key players remaining from the squad that finished bottom of the table in 2023.

An influx of new signings have also arrived, including wingers Jermaine McGillvary and Lachlan Walmsley, Wigan centre Iain Thornley and overseas imports Caleb Uele, Toby Boothroyd and Luke Bain.

Mills told Love Rugby League he envisages ‘one or two’ more new faces signing up before the start of the new Championship season, but has said Trinity want to follow the blueprint of clubs like Leigh in 2022 and improve their squad as the season goes on.

That is with the ultimate aim of avoiding a major rebuild again if, as expected, Wakefield make the cut for Super League in 2025 – and Mills promised that the club will do their homework on every new signing and not utilise what is likely to be the biggest budget the Championship has seen in years simply for the sake of it.

“You’ve got to put a squad together that’s right for the club,” he said.

“You can panic buy and get it wrong and that’s the worst thing you can do. There’s been a couple of good blueprints on how to do it and Leigh are the most recent.

“We’re sitting tight, we’ll keep networking and see what comes up.

“We feel like we’ve done a good job so far in the eight or nine signings so far, and we’ve got a strong squad to start the year.

“The Wigan dual-registration deal gives us more time too but the key is getting the right players at the right time.

“When the season starts, things start to manoeuvre and we’ll be active every day of the week, 365 days of the year.”

Wakefield Trinity to add ‘one or two’ more signings before next season

Mills admitted that he hopes Wakefield have a ‘Super League-standard squad’ in place by the time the Championship finishes next year, so that if they are elevated back to the top-flight for 2025, they will only need to make minor adjustments to their squad.

He said: “It’s difficult to put a number on how many more signings we’d want to make before we start.

“At the minute there’s a couple of things going on in the background and we’d like to add one or two more to complete the squad we start with.

“But the idea is we have a strong Championship season in 2024 and as the year goes on, we build a squad that can compete in Super League.

“We’re hoping to have a Super League-standard squad in the Championship by the time you get to the business end of next season.

“I think we’re on the way to do that, but we want to build for 2025 and as soon as we’ve boxed our last business off this year, I’ll already be thinking about 2025 and what we do long-term.”

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