Wakefield Trinity are the bookmakers’ favourites to be relegated and many others have echoed this opinion.
However, Paul Sculthorpe has pushed back against this idea having spoken to his good friend and Wakefield boss Mark Applegarth.
He, and Applegarth, seem to think that Wakefield could surprise a few in 2023:
“It’s a tough read so early on but you look at the Wakefield side and they’ve got a strong side, it’s whether they’ve got the strength and depth at the back end of the year,” Sculthorpe said on The Last Tackle Podcast.
“Mark Applegarth is a good friend of mine and I was talking to him at the Super League launch and he’s quietly confident. He’s happy to take this wooden spoon that everybody thinks they’re going to get relegated, it takes the pressure off him and his job.
“He’s quietly confident with the players he’s got that they can do something this year. It’s a challenge week to week for Wakefield but they’ve got some talented players.”
However, he believes that Mason Lino will need to have a big season to ensure Wakefield do avoid relegation.
He acknowledged that Lino performed well against Catalans Dragons last week:
“I’ve not seen the game but I believe Mason Lino was running the show again for Wakefield. He’s an outstanding player and with Jacob Miller leaving at six and joining Castleford, there’s a lot of pressure on Lino to steer the ship this year.”