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Chris Chester on Tom Johnstone NRL link and Wakefield’s injury problems

Wakefield head coach Chris Chester has played down rumours linking Tom Johnstone with a move to the NRL.

Reports in Australia suggest the Trinity winger is on the radar of St George Illawarra Dragons, however Chester says the club have received no approach.

“It was news to me,” Chester said on the reports. “I wasn’t aware of any interest, seems the rumours have come from Fox [Sports] down there.

“He’s one of our best players and a very special talent. He’s happy here and has two years left on his contract. We’ll fight tooth and nail to keep him.”

Chester also revealed that Johnstone will be back playing in around four weeks after finding out he does not require surgery on the arm problem he suffered against Wigan two weeks ago.

The Wakefield boss provided a full update on the club’s current injury list during his pre-match press conference ahead of tomorrow’s Challenge Cup game against Catalans – the team that beat them 58-0 in Super League last weekend.

“[Lee] Kershaw has got a bad hamstring injury, we are probably looking at six to eight weeks,” Chester revealed.

“[Tony] Gigot won’t play this week but could be back next week, he had an issue with his knee and also a dead leg.

“Kelepi [Tanginoa] trained today and looks ok, there is no real pain in any of the contact we have done with him. We are hoping he will be back playing.

“I spoke to Bish (Ben Jones-Bishop) last week and all the tests have come back positive for him.

Ben Jones-Bishop has yet to play this season. Credit: Mark Cosgrove/News Images

“I am looking forward to welcoming him back into the squad and he certainly comes into my thoughts for the Warrington game.”

“It is not all doom and gloom and I am not using the injuries as an excuse and we certainly didn’t use them as an excuse last week.

“We had three guys who couldn’t come back on, we got beat in all kinds of effort and attitude last week and that is not acceptable.”

Chester also added that the first week of October has been sounded out for the return of fans into rugby league grounds, but admitted the club’s chairman Michael Carter would be able to provide more clarity on the situation.

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