Wakefield depleted after another positive Covid test, but insist they will play Saints

Wakefield CEO Michael Carter has confirmed the club have had another positive Covid-19 test this week but insists they will fulfil their fixture against St Helens on Friday night.

The club have battled with several coronavirus-related incidents throughout the past two months, with players either testing positive or having to stand down due to track and trace analysis.

Carter revealed that eight further players have been stood down as a result of this week’s positive following Sunday’s trip to Catalans, and says it’s getting increasingly tough both to field a side and explain to players why they are unavailable.

“For me, there’s just no logic in it anymore because if we’d have played Catalans on Friday, like Hull KR are doing this week, then tested on Monday and got one positive test, they only go back 48 hours so it wouldn’t have had any sort of effect on us whatsoever,” he said.

“So we’re kind of left with 13/14 players training for the rest of the week and right up until this morning we’re still in conversations with Public Health England, doctors, medical staff and the RFL about who can and can’t play.

“Ultimately we’ve got 14 fit players and three guys out of a group of about five who played rock, paper, scissors to see who’s the least injured. I just wanted to put into context how tough some of the challenges are for the coaches and the staff and the players at this moment in time.

“There’s a couple of players within that group who’ve been stood down and just can’t fathom the logic of why. And it’s very difficult to try and explain to them because I don’t think there is any logic to it.

“I think if Cas hadn’t have been in the position they were in yesterday, we’d have been the ones who were saying for Hull to play Saints on Friday and we’ll pick up a fixture the week after.

“But the fact is that, if you go in a chronological order, Cas had their issues first and have got that switch, and we’ve nowhere to go. So we are playing tomorrow night, we’ll have 17 on the field and in the dugout but that’s all we’ve got and we’ll give it the best we can.”

Carter previously stated that the club would do everything in their power to make sure games go ahead and, despite the tough position they currently find themselves in, he is still adamant that is the case.

He added: “I would say 99% of this (positive tests) is not through rugby-related contact. I absolutely know and understand that we’ve got to fulfil a broadcast deal, because if we don’t then we’re all packing up and going home anyway.

“Some people, and if I’m being brutally honest it’s some of our own fanbase, need to understand some of the issues that we are currently facing because they’re giving us no leeway at the minute.

“All they are interested in is results, and I get that from a fan’s point of view, but they’ve got to understand some of the things we’re having to go through as well.

“We’d all love to have our best team out there week-in, week-out. I don’t think that’s been possible in the eight or nine weeks we’ve come back so far and this week’s been the worst of the lot.

“So I don’t think this is rugby-related at all, but we’re having to pay the price because basically whatever Public Health England say, we’ve got to do and that’s the bottom line.”

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