WAKEFIELD TRINITY coach Chris Chester says half-back Liam Finn has a broken finger that could leave him out of action for up to two months.
It is one of the reasons the Ireland captain is surprisingly left out of tomorrow’s derby with champions Leeds Rhinos but another is the impressive form of Ryan Hampshire.
Hampshire, 23, started in his favoured half-back role in place of Finn during the 27-26 Easter Monday loss at Hull FC.
After that rare rest, the pivotal 34-year-old was still expected to return to the matchday squad tomorrow but is again not named in the 19.
Chester – who has seen Australian half Jacob Miller sign a new deal until the end of 2022 – explained: “Rocky (Hampshire) played really well and I thought he deserved to keep his spot.
“But also Finny has not been able to train a great deal. He has a nasty break to a finger that will require surgery and keep him out for seven or eight weeks. We’ve left it up to him but he doesn’t want the op’ yet and will put it off until the end of the year but it made the decision easier this week.”
Finny has not been able to train a great deal. He has a nasty break to a finger that will require surgery and keep him out for seven or eight weeks.Wakefield Trinity head coach, Chris Chester
Chester has also ignored the chance to recall Scott Grix, the 33-year-old Ireland full-back who was rested, too, against Hull to allow youngster Max Jowitt only his fourth Super League game in 18 months.
He said: “Grixy was a tougher one. But Max had a decent game as well and as a group of coaching staff we felt he warranted another go.
“I know they (Finn and Grix) are both experienced players but they know if players come in and perform they keep their spot. It gives Grixy a couple of games off and they’ll come straight back into my thoughts next week v St Helens when I’ll need all my senior heads.”
Danny Kirmond, Ben Jones-Bishop and Tom Johnstone return, Chris Annakin, Mason Caton-Brown and Jordan Crowther drop out. Leeds have Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Liam Sutcliffe and Anthony Mullally back to bolster their ranks.