Wakefield Trinity veteran Danny Kirmond is hoping to reach a milestone on game’s resumption

AMID all the ongoing chaos, it has crossed the mind of Wakefield Trinity legend Danny Kirmond that he may yet end up being stuck at 299 not out.

Danny Kirmond

Only fleetingly, of course; given the huge problems currently engulfing the world, the veteran second-row realises it will matter little if he does not ever finally get to reach 300 career games.

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He has been standing at the crease on that number since the opening night of the campaign.

Kirmond came on in the 30-12 loss at Hull KR back in January but has not featured since with Chris Chester’s side, for a number of reasons and long before Covid-19 even struck.

He will be 35 in November and, when signing his latest contract extension last September, always realised he may be more of a squad member this time around.

The West Yorkshire club had already added London Broncos captain Jay Pitts to an already strong back-row contingent that included Dream Team member Matty Ashurst, Kirmond and James Batchelor.

Yet another second-row – Pauli Pauli – had been loaned to Salford Red Devils for 2020 while Kirmond also took on other off-field roles this term becoming player performance manager and helping coach the reserves.

“Yes, I am stuck on it (299) - I think I might end up on that!” joked Kirmond, in an interview with The Yorkshire Post.

“I knew it was going to be like that this year, with the competition we’ve got here. Obviously Matty Ashurst is one of the better back-rowers in the competition. You’re never going to get his spot.

“I had a bench spot in that first game and that’s where I thought I might get a few games.

“Then I was due to play against Bradford (Bulls) in the Challenge Cup which was going to be my 300th. But I had a game with the reserves who I’ve been doing some coaching with.

“I thought it’d be good to get some minutes under my belt and see how those boys are actually out on the field. But I pulled my hamstring in that so that put paid to the Bradford game!”

That narrow 17-14 win on March 13 was, of course, Trinity’s last game before fixtures were postponed due to Covid-19.

No one expects the sport to resume any time soon and there are fears it could be months before Super League starts up once more.

Club captain Kirmond knows his chances of forcing his way into the Trinity matchday 17 will be just as tough then.

But he added: “Chezzy [coach Chris Chester] has been quite open with me throughout and he’s been honest. He’s let me know that I will play.

“I did speak to him about the possibility of maybe looking for some game-time elsewhere but he did say that I am going to play and I am in his plans.

“I’m happy with that. As long as there’s honesty there and an openness – and there always is –then I’m happy to keep working hard and waiting for that opportunity.”

Kirmond initially joined Wakefield on loan from Huddersfield Giants in 2010 but secured a permanent switch two years later and has gone on to play 171 matches for them.

A huge fans favourite, his no-nonsense approach and tireless work ethic helped establish him as one of the competition’s best back-rows and an inspirational captain.

He started out at hometown Featherstone Rovers in 2005, making 73 appearances before moving on to Huddersfield where he played another 55 games.

In all that time, Kirmond could never have imagined he – and all players – would end up sidelined and training in solitary due to a global pandemic.

“It has been weird but quite nice for me, if I’m honest,” he said.

“We had our first child at Christmas so it’s been nice to get a bit of time at home.

“Obviously the worry is there (Trinity are on furlough leave due to the pandemic) but training on your own is a different challenge and especially at a stressful time like this it’s nice to get out and do a bit of exercise.

“I’ve been managing to get out for runs in places I wouldn’t normally do. I’m just down from the river where I live so I get out down there where it’s nice and quiet.

“It’s good to have a bit of head space and have a clear think about things.

“Obviously, I’m really missing the boys, the craic and playing as well; the fans, the atmosphere and all that comes with that.

“But there’s a bigger picture to all this at the minute and it is right that everyone does all the right things by staying at home.”