If there has been one player for Wakefield Trinity that continues to go under the radar but shouldn’t, it is Jai Whitbread.
The forward has been in excellent form for the West Yorkshire side in 2022, taking responsibility for much of the workload in the middle as well as showing brilliant leadership qualities that belie his youthful age.
Ahead of this season, Whitebread signed a one-year deal with an option of another after joining from the Leigh Centurions, but Wakefield head coach Willie Poching has confirmed that the club will be taking up that option, with the Trinity boss waxing lyrical about Whitbread’s contribution to his side.
“We will be taking that up he’s been a revelation has Jai,” Poching told BBC Radio Leeds.
“He was a late pick up for us in the off-season as he was at Leigh at the back end of last year and he brings so much to the group not just on the field but off it.”
Poching was also keen to stress just how important Whitbread has been for all age groups in the Wakefield squad and how important he has been in the development of the younger players.
“For a young fella he’s got tremendous leadership qualities. Just how he works and his work standards speak volumes. He’s one of those who is 24 so he sits in that position where he can mix with younger blokes and the older group so he’s a fantastic bridge for that.
“He’s been enormous in the progression of some of those younger players.”
One player who is set to leave is James Batchelor who is reportedly heading for Hull KR at the end of the season, but it looks as though the forward has played his last game for the club.
Batchelor was seen leaving Wakefield on crutches following Sunday’s win over the Wigan Warriors, with Poching confirming that he has suffered a hamstring injury.