Warrington v Wakefield Trinity: Wakefield winger relieved at missing weekend

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NO player is keen on the modern trend of squad rotation but, just for once, Wakefield Trinity’s Ben Jones-Bishop actually was not too fussed about the process.

The former Leeds Rhinos winger has long been a regular in Chris Chester’s side but, like everyone else, is sometimes given a game off to recharge his batteries.

Ben Jones-Bishop.

Ben Jones-Bishop.

That was the case last Saturday when Jones-Bishop was rested for the home game against Widnes Vikings.

That, of course, was then abandoned after just 27 minutes following a freakish snow storm that caused impossible playing conditions at Belle Vue.

Indeed, most players have only just about thawed out but Jones-Bishop told The Yorkshire Post: “Luckily I had the weekend off.

“It was my turn to have a rest so it fell on a nice week! I’ve never seen anything like it. Especially with how quick it all happened.

“A few of the boys were saying before kick-off there was a bit of snow on the ground but it was okay.

“Then, all of a sudden, a gale started up and it was pretty hard to see anything, if I’m honest.”

As yet, no decision has been made regarding when the fixture will be rescheduled but one game that is definitely going ahead is tonight’s trip to Warrington Wolves.

Jones-Bishop is back in the side. Mason Caton-Brown is the likely player to drop out and is perhaps a little hard done by at getting less than half-an-hour’s action.

As it is always said, though, you cannot control the weather. Wakefield – 2-0 ahead when the game was called off – face a significant battle at Warrington, big-spending opponents who are starting to find their feet now under new coach Steve Price.

While Trinity were freezing against Widnes, Warrington were easing to an impressive 26-0 win against Catalans Dragons in the relative warmth of the south of France.

It was just their third victory from six matches since Price took over from long-serving fellow Australian Tony Smith but Jones-Bishop said: “They had a good win there at Perpignan.

“Obviously, it’s going to take a bit of time for them to gel under a new coach – new players, new systems – but they are a dangerous team.

“From what we’ve looked at, defensively they look pretty physical and aggressive so it’ll be a tough test.

“Personally, I’m on the right edge going up against Kevin Brown, who has a bagful of tricks and is real skilful, so we’ll have to be switched on. He’s announced his retirement from England but he is still a good player, can break teams down and offers a lot.

“He’s made his decision and is focusing on Warrington now so they’ll be a good test.”

Jones-Bishop, 29, is set to face Tom Lineham, the robust ex-Hull FC winger making his 150th career appearance, although Warrington have also this week signed former Wigan and England wideman Josh Charnley from Sale Sharks. He said: “It’s good to see him (Charnley) back in rugby league.

“We’ll see how he goes. Tom Lineham, too, is a handful again as a ball-carrier. To be fair, there’s not many left wingers who aren’t strong ball-carriers these days.

“It seems every week you’re coming up against big, physical players so it’ll be another good battle. I’m looking forward to it.”

Wakefield, for their part, have won four of their opening five games, not including that abandoned effort, Jones-Bishop contributing four tries.

“We’re progressing nicely,” he said, the firm intention being to reach the Super League semis, having just missed out on the top-four last term.

“We’ve done okay. Obviously the weather in the opening rounds has not been great for moving the ball about which we like to do.

“That’s testament to our forwards really; we’ve ground wins out in tough conditions. It’s a busy period coming up, there’s some big games for us against some of the teams we’re hoping to be in and around at end of the year.”

Wakefield host derby rivals Castleford Tigers next Thursday before heading to Hull FC on Easter Monday.