Mathers cements Wildcats contract

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WAKEFIELD have made full-back Richard Mathers’ loan move permanent after completing his signing from Castleford on a two-year contract.

The former Leeds, Wigan and Warrington player made 27 appearances for the Wildcats in 2012 after joining them on loan at the start of the season and was rewarded for an impressive string of performances with the vice-captaincy.

“The feeling I have is one of a big relief,” said Mathers. “I have been thankful throughout to Wakefield and it was never in question I wanted to stay because I enjoyed it so much last year.

“To get a two-year deal and represent the club while hopefully playing a big part is something that I really am delighted about.

“I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a season as much. We evolved as a team as we found our way towards the back half of the season and it was a great journey.”

Mathers played a key role in Wakefield’s run to the play-offs and believes the future for the club is bright.

The Wildcats have also made stand-off Paul Sykes’ move from Bradford permanent and signed State of Origin prop Justin Poore and Hull winger Reece Lyne.

Wales have set themselves a four-year target to become one of the game’s super powers.

Head coach Iestyn Harris has overseen a rise from 15th to sixth in the world rankings during his three years at the helm and now wants a top-three spot.

Harris will have the chance to gauge his side’s prospects when England, who occupy third place behind Australia and New Zealand, provide the next opposition for his emerging side in Wrexham on Saturday.