HE HAS had to bide his time to get a chance again with Wakefield Trinity so Joe Arundel is certainly not going to waste it now.
The former Castleford Tigers and Hull FC centre hardly got a look-in last year due to the form of Bill Tupou and Reece Lyne, who earned Dream Team and England honours respectively in 2018.
However, Tongan star Tupou has been ruled out for three months due to groin surgery and England winger Tom Johnstone is also sidelined for the season following a knee reconstruction.
It has meant Arundel has got his chance, playing in the last three games, including back-to-back wins over Salford Red Devils and Huddersfield Giants ahead of tonight’s visit from struggling champions Wigan Warriors.
“Injuries are part and parcel of rugby league aren’t they,” said the 27-year-old. “They happen and people sometimes get good fortune out of it. That’s me now but I’ve been on the other end of it, too. Now I just want to show what I can do and get some consistency going.”
But Wakefield coach Chris Chester has always had faith in Arundel – he signed a two-year extension in February – and his patience is now paying off.
I never really got chance to play as their form was just so good and you admire that. You have to wait for a chance and now I have it.Wakefield Trinity’s Joe Arundel
He conceded: “It is frustrating not playing; you just have to keep working in training. Last season especially Reece and Bill just never got injured and had unbelievable personal years with their own form. You can’t complain with that. I never really got chance to play as their form was just so good and you admire that.
“You have to wait for a chance and now I have it.”
Before this run, Arundel’s only other first-team game this year was a League 1 fixture for Newcastle Thunder at London Skolars.
Tonight he faces Super League champions who, admittedly, will be fuming after letting a 20-point lead slip to lose at his hometown club Castleford last week.
Asked about tonight’s opponents, Arundel said: “It’s Wigan at the end of the day isn’t it?
“They’ll be well-drilled, aggressive and they are a champion team. For us, it’s a great test of character; they have a few injuries and we need to go out and play our best game.
“It’s a big match for us as we’re fourth and a win will put us six points clear of them.”