Written by Zack Wilson
Photo by Picture by John Rushworth
Wakefield Trinity have been one of Super League’s success stories in the last two seasons.
Consecutive fifth-placed finishes have been an outstanding achievement by head coach Chris Chester, the club’s staff and the players.
If they finish fifth again, they will be guaranteed a play-off spot this season, but one senses that they might be able to do more, given a bit of good luck.
The signing of Brough could be the key to success.
While the former Scotland international has not been at his best for most of the last two seasons at Huddersfield Giants, a move back to Belle Vue might be just what he needs.
Always combative and competitive, Brough has always had plenty of nous and game smarts, and now he has plenty of experience too.
There is also the carrot of a Great Britain tour place to play for, and Brough would surely love a place on that trip at this stage of his career.
That might just be the extra inspiration the veteran needs to really pull out all the stops in 2019.
Outside of Brough, there is plenty of talent in the Trinity threequarter line.
Tom Johnstone is a definite contender to be Super League’s top try scorer in 2019, while Reece Lyne will have gained plenty from spending time with the England squad in the close season.
Bill Tupou was outstanding in the centres last season, and Trinity fans will hope that he can continue his fine form this season.
Ryan Hampshire should line up at fullback, with Max Jowitt offering him some severe competition for his place in the team.
In the middle, it will be interesting to see how players like David Fifita and Pauli Pauli cope with the reduction in interchanges.
While those two add real power and size to the pack, there remain questions over their endurance and stamina.
The acquisition of Craig Kopczak could be important. Although the former Welsh international is at the veteran stage of his career, being 32 years old, he can still play big minutes.
George King has also joined from Warrington to add more mobility and vitality to the Trinity front row.
All the ingredients are therefore in place for Trinity to really push the top teams hard in Super League this season.
There is no better time for them to launch a bid for a real breakthrough to become one of Super League’s top sides, for this season and for years to come.