Former Wakefield player Willie Poching keen to succeed Chris Chester in Trinity job

Wakefield Trinity’s interim head coach Willie Poching says he is ready to make the most of his “audition” for the top job on a permanent basis.

New role: Former Wakefield player and current Trinity interim head coach Willie Poching would like the job on a permanent basis.

He took charge in a caretaker capacity this week when long-serving Chris Chester was sacked following the West Yorkshire club’s recent poor run of form.

Trinity CEO Michael Carter said there were enquiries about the vacancy “within a minute” of the decision being made public and five-times Grand Final winning former Leeds Rhinos boss Brian McDermott is reported to be keen to take charge of his hometown club.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

But assistant Poching, 47, wants to be considered, too, and there is no denying his experience given he has also previously worked as a No2 at Leeds Rhinos, Warrington Wolves, Salford Red Devils, Huddersfield Giants and Hull KR.

“When I started coaching, very much like when I started playing, I aspired to go right to the top and go as far as I could,” said the former Kiwi second-row who won the 2004 Grand Final as a player with Leeds.

“I set out a long time ago now as a coach and I wanted to sit in one of these seats.

“I want to do it permanently and I have got an audition now, so to speak.”

Wakefield will look to secure a first win in six games when they host Warrington on Sunday.

Stepping up: Willie Poching was Chris Chester's assistant coach and hopes to succeed him in the Trinity job. Picture by Allan McKenzie/

Poching added: “Whilst you’re trying to absorb everything and syphon through all the emotions it is also an opportunity and a responsibility that - whilst I’m still here - I need to get the team in the right frame of mind and right space mentally.”

Speaking at his first press conference, he discussed what needs to alter for the club that sits second bottom with just four wins all season.

“I’ll analyse some of that as we go along, but it is very tough to change things this week,” insisted Poching.

“There’s enough mental load going on with the players without me changing things and throwing things that are different at them.

“I know what we have done in the past has worked. We have seen it. We are just trying to fine-tweak and reinvigorate and re-energise some of the players to be able to perform some of those systems and some of the detail we practice.

“I’ll try and go with that for the time being, until I feel there might be a time I can possibly change things, if I feel it is needed. I won’t be making changes just for change’s sake.”

In terms of how the squad have reacted to Chester’s dismissal, the ex-Trinity forward admitted: “A few have struggled.

“And it takes a toll on the group both staff and players-wise

“What I’ve asked them to do in training is to give all their time and focus when we’re in those meetings and on the field.

“And then once that’s finished, I’ve tried to be around them as a support network for those that needs it. Everyone has different relations with coaches; some take it differently to others.”

England centre Reece Lyne (arm) is out of Sunday’s game.