Wakefield v Huddersfield: Scott Grix making most of a new lease of life

AT this time of year, in the snow and cold, sludge and wet, it is easy to understand why some of Super League's elder statesmen might start seeing the benefits of a looming retirement.

Scott Grix: Faces former club Huddersfield. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Wakefield Trinity full-back Scott Grix, however, is certainly not one of them.

He turns 34 in May and, by the time his contract finishes at the end of next season, will be well on the way towards 36.

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Nevertheless, the Ireland international has no desire to start contemplating when his last game will be.

Firstly, this current Wakefield side is too much of a desirable entity for that thought to cross his mind.

As for that snow, the only reason sledging and winter games were curtailed on Friday was it being too cold for his children on the hills above Halifax, not him.

Moreover, Grix is arguably in the form of his life after his move from Huddersfield Giants saw him play an integral role in Trinity’s fine 2017 campaign.

On the back of an enjoyable World Cup campaign with Ireland, he signed a new two-year deal and heads into tomorrow’s game against Huddersfield looking to maintain Wakefield’s 100 per cent start with a fourth win.

“I’ve not really put a time frame on it (retirement),” Grix told The Yorkshire Post.

“I’m pretty confident I’m looking after myself enough for my body to be right and, as long as I’m doing it on the pitch and somebody sees a spot for me, I’d love to play on as long as I can. I’ve always been confident body-wise to deal with the age.

“Aside from the injuries in a chunk of my last 18 months at Huddersfield. I’ve never really had any bad ones.

“That was the first time I’d ever had to sit out really and I promised myself that I wouldn’t whinge about it after seeing the bits and bobs my brother (Halifax’s Simon) has gone through.

“The four years before that, I hardly missed any games and I’ve always been confident I can play on a lot longer so who knows?”

To put it into context, his brother revealed two years ago that his 17-month daughter was fighting liver cancer while, personally, the player had missed 18 months of action when still at Warrington Wolves following a horrific double leg break.

Grix, then, knows he has plenty to be thankful of, not least having featured in another World Cup when Ireland thrilled crowds in Australia, beating Wales and Italy yet still controversially not qualifying for the quarter-finals.

Samoa made the last eight without even notching a victory. Lebanon did so with just one.

Grix, who was vice-captain to Wakefield team-mate Liam Finn, said: “It was the second time I’d been over there for it and it was great. That was mine and Finny’s third World Cup. When we got back we were joking we might even try sneak another one out!

“You realise when that got mentioned just how old you are. You don’t realise it when you’re in amongst it every day; you all get treated like the same age. But it was nice to go over to Oz after the exploits we’d had with Wakey to then, in a sense, go stick two fingers up at the organisers.

“We knew the rules before we went – we had to beat Papua New Guinea as well – it was just nice to show we could have had a good dig if we’d been given the chance.”

Grix concedes gaining a “new lease of life” is probably the best way to describe his return to Wakefield after his spell at Huddersfield where he lifted the 2013 League Leaders’ Shield.

Trinity just missed out on the top-four last year and, clearly, have started well again.

Grix said: “The biggest thing we noticed when we came back from the World Cup was there wasn’t as many headaches as last pre-season.

“We’re hoping that puts us in good stead further down the line.

“When people like Tom (Johnstone) or Bill (Tupou) are sticking out and putting in the sort of performances they have been doing, normally at a club like Wakefield they are gone by now so it’s good to see that’s not been the case either.”

Grix’s duel with Huddersfield’s new No 1, maverick Australian 23-year-old Jake Mamo, will be an intriguing sub-plot tomorrow if the rearranged game does get the go-ahead after Friday’s postponement due to the adverse weather.