Joe Westerman: Wakefield Trinity coach Chris Chester backs forward for England recall

Wakefield coach Chris Chester says he will be pushing loose forward Joe Westerman for an England recall after he scored the 100th try of his career to help his side maintain their resurgence with a 30-20 win over bottom club Leigh.

The 31-year-old Westerman, who made his only previous appearance for England against Samoa in 2014, brought up his century on the 350th appearance of his career to help Trinity make it three Super League wins in a row.

“I think Joe Westerman is playing the best rugby I’ve seen for a long time,” said Chester. “I’ll be meeting Shaun Wane on Tuesday and I’ll certainly be singing his praises.

“I’ve given him the freedom to play what he sees. He played 80 minutes today and did some good stuff.”

Trinity were made to work hard for the points by an injury-hit Centurions outfit which for long periods looked capable of breaking their duck.

Half-back Joe Mellor marked his return from a five-match injury absence with two tries as the Centurions twice held the lead and Wakefield needed two tries in the last nine minutes from former Leigh winger Liam Kay and scrum-half Mason Lino to spare their blushes.

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“First and foremost I’ve got to commend Leigh for the way they played,” said Chester. “They made it very difficult for us.

“It was very scrappy but the two points is what is important and I’m pleased we found a way to win.

“We speak about playing the Wakefield way but sometimes you come up with errors and we came up with plenty of errors today, which is disappointing, especially after last week when everything stuck.”

Wakefield are likely to be without forward Kelepi Tanginoa for Friday’s game at Warrington as he came off after 12 minutes with a “dead leg” but Chester says winger Tom Johnstone will make his return from a two-month lay-off.

Caretaker Centurions coach Kurt Haggerty is hoping to have prop forwards Ben Flower, Nathaniel Peteru and Nathan Mason back for Saturday’s home game against Catalans Dragons.

They were among a host of injury absentees which meant Haggerty was forced to put three backs on the bench against Trinity.

Haggerty, who was handed the reins in midweek following the departure of John Duffy, was delighted with the performance of his side despite a ninth defeat from as many games and says he will be happy to stay in charge for as long as owner Derek Beaumont wants.

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“Considering the week we had, I’m really happy with the energy of the players and we had the potential to pinch the game at times,” he said.

“They are hurting in the changing rooms because the game was there to take but for us to go forward it was a really good start.

“I’ll just keep taking charge of the team until I have a further conversion with Derek. There’s no rush at the moment but I’m sure at some point we will have a chat.

“It’s not something that’s really on my mind at the moment.”

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