“Hard to take” – Former Wakefield Trinity coach & Leeds Rhinos player Willie Poching opens up on being shunned at Samoa training

Lots of credit has gone the way of Willie Poching recently.

This is because his former club Wakefield Trinity praised the way he accepted his departure from Belle Vue as they headed in a new direction under Mark Applegarth as 2023 rolls around.

This came despite a brilliant end to the season under Poching which saw the former Super League winner with Leeds Rhinos guide Wakefield away from relegation to an unlikely 10th place finish.

After doing something similar in 2021, many expected Poching to remain at the club but that wasn’t the case.

No doubt looking ahead to what he’ll do next, Poching took some time out last week to head to the Samoan camp during the World Cup after being invited to boost moral after their shock 60-6 defeat to England in the opening game.

However, on arrival he was surprisingly turned away as confusion reigned leaving Poching and his son and Wakefield youngster Kobe Poching somewhat hurt.

Now Poching has spoken about the incident on BBC Radio Leeds.

He said: “Yeah I spoke to Matt Parish and full credit to him, he rung me the next day and gave me a full apology and then he asked me to come and meet him after the game and he was very sincere in his apology.

“There was obviously a mix up. My support for the team and the country hasn’t change. Credit to Matt for putting his hand up and offering the apology that he did.

“It was hard to take at the time, but I’m trying to move on from that now. They’ve got the biggest game of the weekend against France, both teams need to win.

“I don’t think there’s a clear cut favourite in that one but I think it’ll make for an exceptional game.”

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