Willie Poching pays tribute to Wakefield’s departing players

Drew Darbyshire
Willie Poching Wakefield Trinity SWpix

Photo: Matt West/SWpix

Wakefield coach Willie Poching wished the club’s departing players well after they fell short to Huddersfield 16-14 in their final game of the season.

Will Pryce kicked a penalty goal in golden point extra-time to seal a 16-14 win for the Giants at the John Smith’s Stadium.

The result didn’t matter too much though as last week Trinity secured their Super League status for another year.

Speaking after the game, Poching paid tribute to Jacob Miller, David Fifita, Tinirau Arona and Yusuf Aydin, who have played their final games for Wakefield.

“They are great servants of the game,” Willie Poching said. “Every one of them, especially the guys that have been here for a while, who have made a massive contribution to the culture of the club.

“It’s hard when you have players leave, especially those who give so much to the club, but they go with our blessings. Once a Wakefield player, always a Wakefield player.

“I’m proud of them and the spirit they showed in tough circumstances at times. We lost a centre and played people out of position but we didn’t lose the effort and desire.

“I commend them for expressing themselves and having some fun along the way.”

Where next for Wakefield’s departing players?

Fan favourite David Fifita is expected to return home to Australia to be closer to his family. He has publicly said he would love to play alongside his twin Andrew for one last season.

Cook Islands international Arona is also thought to be heading home after seven seasons at Belle Vue.

Captain Jacob Miller has been heavily linked with a move to their rivals Castleford from next season.

England international winger Tom Johnstone will join Catalans Dragons on a two-year deal from 2023.

Forwards James Batchelor and Aydin will both head to Hull KR ahead of next season.

Former Tonga international Bill Tupou announced his retirement earlier in the year.

Loose forward or half-back Brad Walker has been linked with a move to League 1 champions Keighley.

Nigeria international Sadiq Adebiyi and centre Thomas Minns will also exit Wakefield.

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