HE may be approaching his 36th birthday but the capture of talismanic half-back Danny Brough could prove the missing link for Wakefield Trinity.
They have announced the re-signing of the former Scotland captain from Huddersfield Giants on a two-year deal with Trinity full-back Scott Grix heading the other way as he takes up a role which will involve some coaching with the Fartowners.
Wakefield head coach Chris Chester has needed an experienced playmaker to complement the skills of Australian Jacob Miller at Belle Vue and there are few more experienced than Brough, one of Super League’s leading players for the last decade.
If he can stay fit and, more importantly, avoid the sort of bans that have blighted his last couple of years with Huddersfield, he could be one of the signings of 2019 and help them truly challenge the elite.
Technically, it is the 2013 Man of Steel’s third spell at Trinity; he started out in their academy but made his professional debut with hometown Dewsbury Rams.
Then came spells with Hull FC – winning the 2005 Challenge Cup alongside Chester – and Castleford before re-joining Wakefield the following year.
He scored 19 tries in 57 appearances before moving on to Huddersfield in 2010 and establishing himself as a club legend for the claret and gold, in particular when leading them to a League Leaders’ Shield in 2013, their first top spot in 81 years.
Still regarded as the best kicker in the competition, he has risen up to the sixth highest points scorer of all time this season and is relishing the chance to return to Trinity who have finished fifth in each of the last two seasons.
“I am over the moon to go back to where it started,” said Brough.
“I have a lot of unsettled business at Wakefield and I owe a lot to the fans after my previous spell at the club.”
I am over the moon to go back to where it started. I have a lot of unsettled business at Wakefield and I owe a lot to the fans after my previous spell at the club.Danny Brough
Chester added: “I’m personally delighted to finally get Danny Brough back in the red, white and blue of Wakefield Trinity.
“Having been made aware of Danny’s availability, we jumped at the chance to bring him back. He brings a wealth of experience and without doubt the best short and long kicking game in Super League.”
“Game-management was a big issue at times last year and by bringing Danny in, we are hoping those close losses can turn into wins and help us challenge the top-four in 2019.”
Grix was part of that table-topping Giants side in 2013 and returns after spending the last two years at Belle Vue.
“Although I would have been happy to finish my contract as a Trinity player, I have now got an eye on life after rugby,” said the 34 year-old.
“The opportunity to become a coach after playing was the catalyst behind this move and I am very much looking forward to adding some value to a club I have spent a lot of years at.”
Huddersfield, who have recruited Australian Matt Frawley from Canterbury Bulldogs as Brough’s replacement, hope the Ireland international will help mentor the club’s young aspiring full-backs Darnell McIntosh and Senior Innes as well as their crop of tyro half-backs - Tom Holmes, Olly Russell and Izaac Farrell.