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Super League star faces uncertain future

Jamie Shaul has faced an interesting 12 months.

Many expected Shaul to join Wakefield in 2023 after he had a successful loan spell at Trinity at the end of last season.

It’s been a difficult few seasons for the fullback who has struggled with injury and lost his number one shirt to Jake Connor.

Connor headed to Huddersfield Giants in 2023 but the Black and Whites have a replacement for him in the shape of new signing Tex Hoy.

Shaul was very nearly Wakefield’s fullback next season with a move very close before it fell down.

Serious About Rugby League understands that a change in priorities at Belle Vue was the reason for this.

As the club moved in a new direction appointing Mark Applegarth as Head Coach for next season with Willie Poching stepping down, the club’s recruitment policy changed with Applegarth placing a greater emphasis on recruiting middles which meant that the club was no longer keen on bringing in Shaul Serious About Rugby League understands.

Thus, the star fullback remained at the MKM Stadium at least until the end of his current contract which expires at the end of this season.

Against St Helens in only his second appearance of the season Shaul caught the eye and looked like his old self.

But his future still remains unclear.

Here’s what Tony Smith had to say on the matter this week on BBC Radio Humberside: “His head was in first grade last week and played well. It was great. I’m really pleased for him. It was only his second game for us in the first team this season.

“We weren’t sure before the season started how many he’d get, whether he’d get any, whether he’d get a lot.

“He’s got a chance to get another one this week, whether that happens we’ll see. But he gave himself a chance. I thought he was good last week, had his good energy, showed a bit of his old self and I think a bit of his new self as well.

“He’s certainly fit. He ran a whole load of metres right up there last week and after not playing at that sort of level for some time, he made a pretty good fist of it so yeah I’m pleased for Jamie and as I keep saying he’s been a great character around the place.

“I came here with and he probably had a reputation of being a little bit, you know, not quite on being the best pro. Yeah, that’s been further from the truth since I’ve been here.

“We had a good frank talk about it. If you wanted to stay here and be part of it, well, he had to set great examples and he certainly done that. So that’s why I’m pleased.

“I love when people make a commitment then stick to it and he stuck to it and he deserves some praise about that. Some can’t do that, they can’t back up the talk. Some can make you promises but when it gets a bit tough and they’re not getting selected that they can turn sour and not do all the right stuff.

“Jamie’s been really good in helping all the others around him, he’s helped Davy Litten heaps this year as well, and Tex, and being the other fullbacks in the group, and some of the other young guys as well. So he’s in great shape.”

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