Sky Sports have issued an apology for Jon Wilkin’s comments on new Wakefield Trinity head coach Mark Applegarth.
Wilkin said, live on Sky Sports: The Verdict: “I could sit here and lie and say it’s a great appointment, what a fantastic guy who will do a great job,” Wilkin said.
“The reality is, I know nothing about Mark Applegarth.
“So, in some ways, that’s a surprise isn’t it, because a guy who is unknown has got the job.”
That caused consternation amongst a number of people and fans with Sky later taking down the material.
Wakefield chairman John Minards later said Sky had apologised for their coverage.
“Like many, I was disappointed with a piece by @SkySportsRL covering the appointment of our head coach,” tweeted Wakefield chairman John Minards.
“We today received an apology for the tone adopted and understand there will be further coverage tomorrow evening (in Sky’s live Friday night game).
“I look forward to a more considered and mature discussion.”
Applegarth is 37 and first joined Trinity, his hometown club, as a junior in 2000, signing professional terms in 2004.
He played 47 times for the club before moving on to York City Knights. A two-year spell in Australia followed before a return to the UK and a successful spell with Batley Bulldogs. Mark then moved back to York where he finished his playing career as assistant coach.
Applegarth then returned to Wakefield Trinity in 2015 as Player Performance Manager becoming Head of Youth in 2017. He combined this role with that of First Team Assistant and Reserve Coach during the 2022 season.
Upon his appointment, Minards said: “We are delighted to have appointed Mark as our new Head Coach. He is well respected across the whole club and widely regarded at one of the most talented young coaches in the game.
“His appointment comes at pivotal time for the club as we are undertaking a major redevelopment of our stadium and celebrate our 150th anniversary in 2023.
“We are looking forward to working with Mark as we complete our coaching team and playing squad for the coming season.”