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Former Hull man Miller signs for Wildcats

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats have signed Australian halfback Jacob Miller on a one-year deal.

Done deal: Former Hull FC player Jacob Miller has joined Wakefield Credit: Press Association

22-year-old Miller was released by Hull FC earlier this monthand has now been snapped up by their Super League rivals for their 2015 campaign.

He made 20 appearances for the Black and Whites and is now hoping to prove himself with the Wildcats.

"Wakefield have given me a great opportunity to rediscover my best form and this is a challenge I'm eager to fulfil," said Miller, who moved to England following his release by Wests Tigers last year.

Head coach James Webster added: "Jacob's signing allows us to have greater depth and competition in the halves.

“He is similar to many players that have signed for Wakefield in that he is a young player with a point to prove and a burning desire to cement a spot in the team."

Hull KR's Poore calls it quits

Hull KR's Justin Poore has confirmed his retirement from rugby league following a knee injury.

Justin Poore Credit: Press Association

The 29-year-old enjoyed a successful career in both Super League and the NRL which saw him make 209 appearances.

Poore joined Wakefield Wildcats before moving to Hull where he impressed Robins fans during his stay.

The Australian fractured his knee cap on Easter Monday against Catalan Dragons and despite having successful surgery and rehab, Poore has decided to return home.

Poore said: "It's never an easy call to make but I know it's the right decision for me, my family and for the club as well.

"My knee has been responding well to treatment but the feedback from the medical staff is that I run the risk of damaging it further if I was to return.

"The contact might mean I would never be able to walk properly again and that's not a risk I want to take."

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Former Yorkshire Super League coaches do battle on international stage

It will be master against apprentice when Wales do battle with France in their must-win European Championship clash in Albi on Saturday afternoon.

John Kear (above) had Richard Agar as his assistant during Hull FC's Challenge Cup win Credit: Press Association

The second round of matches pits French head coach and former Hull FC and Wakefield head coach Richard Agar against his old mentor John Kear, a former England and France boss who is now in charge of his third national team after succeeding Iestyn Harris at Wales.

The 2014 European Championship is one long round of reunions for the veteran former Wakefield Head Coach Kear, who helped launch Agar's coaching career at Hull in 2004, coached Scotland captain Danny Brough at two Super League clubs and in tandem with Ireland boss Mark Aston steered Sheffield Eagles to their stunning win over Wigan in the 1998 Challenge Cup final at Wembley.

"I go back a long way with all three," Kear said. "I've had a very interesting last 10 or 15 years. We keep inter-twining, locking horns and it's great. It's part of the rugby league family."

Both France and Wales go into their meeting on the back of defeats and know a loss in Albi will end their hopes both of tournament success and of securing the big prize of a place in the 2016 Four Nations Series.

Kear's men will be looking to bounce back from their 42-18 defeat by Scotland while pre-tournament favourites France are reeling from a shock 22-12 loss to Ireland.

"We had a really good review of the previous performance against Scotland and we've identified areas that we need to tidy up and improve on," Kear said.

"The players' application has been first class and if they take that on to the field against France then I'll be very satisfied.

"This week will be vastly different to the Scotland game in Cumbria last Friday. We played in a howling gale and driving rain and, from the forecasts we've been getting, we'll have no rain on Saturday, 25 degree sunshine and the ground will be very firm."

Agar is poised to give a debut to Lezignan hooker John Boudebza, who this week completed a move to Hull KR, while Kear has called up four fresh faces as he rebuilds a youthful Welsh squad.

"It's exciting for the game in Wales," Kear said. "We've given a lot of people some opportunities. Some have taken them without a shadow of a doubt and are going to be here for a good few years yet."

For Wales and Ireland, who host the Scots in Dublin on Saturday afternoon, there is also the prospect of securing automatic entry into the 2017 World Cup down under.

"With the enormity of this fixture we will be looking to up our game against Scotland," Aston said. "Last week was a fantastic victory and it is important that we keep the spirit that we showed against France and build on that."

Scotland coach Steve McCormack, who celebrated 10 years in the job on Friday, reckons his side will need to find some improvement if they are to halt the improving Irish.

"A lot of people were shocked by Ireland beating France but nothing surprises me any more," said McCormack.

"We know we are going to have to be at our very best to win.

"If we play like we did in the second half against Wales we will give ourselves a chance but we've got to learn from where we went wrong in the first half."

Wakefield Wildcats sign Owen on three year deal

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats have signed Richard Owen on a three-year deal.

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats sign Richard Owen on three year deal Credit: Dave Howarth/DAH Sports Images/Press Association Images

The 25-year-old made 12 appearances for the Wildcats last season after joining on loan from rivals Castleford Tigers.

"It's a good club to be at, I enjoyed my time here last season and think it's a great opportunity for me to set my position here.

"All the boys are going to want to get stuck in and have a big season."

– Richard Owen

Wildcats sign starlet to four-year deal

Wakefield have secured the future of one of their hottest prospects by tying full-back Max Jowitt to a new four-year deal.

The 17-year-old England youth international made his Super League debut at St. Helens in August, following in the footsteps of his father Ian who played for the club in the late 1980s.

A product of the Wildcats' youth development programme, Jowitt signed his first full-time deal at 16 and has been rewarded for his progress in the last 12 months with a contract running to the end of 2018.

Max showed massive improvement last year in what was his first year as a full-time professional. He's a player of massive potential and you could see from day one when he came into the first team squad that he was not your average rugby league player.

– James Webster, Wildcats coach

Tim Smith rejoins Wakefield Wildcats after five-game winning streak

Scrum-half Tim Smith has returned to the Wildcats on a permanent basis on a one-year contract for 2015.

Tim Smith is back with the Wakefield Wildcats Credit: Press Association

Smith played a significant role in a five-game unbeaten run at the start of James Webster’s tenure that steered Trinity to Super League safety.

The 29-year old former Wigan and Parramatta Eels half-back made 89 Super League appearances in all and was the Wildcats Player of the Year during his first season in with the club in 2012.

Chris Riley, Lopini Paea, Mickael Simon, Matty Ashurst and Craig Hall will also join Smith as new additions to the squad for Webster’s first full season in charge.

“It was an easy decision. I think people can see I’m happy at Wakefield and enjoy everything about the club.

The players are a great bunch to play with and the coaching staff are easy to get along with.

If we keep our squad fit we’ve as much chance as anyone else to make the top eight. It will be tough but we go into the year full of optimism.”

– Tim Smith

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Wildcats coach plays down play-off chances

Wakefield Wildcats coach James Webster has played down his team's chances of making the Super League play-offs.

They play Castleford Tigers this weekend in a West Yorkshire derby and need to win that and their final game against Hull KR to stand a chance of making the final eight.

Webster told Chris Dawkes his team are looking forward to playing the Tigers who, he says, have had a good season:

Tigers set for Wakefield derby

Castleford Tigers head in to a West Yorkshire derby this weekend against Wakefield Wildcats still in with a chance of finishing top of the Super League for the first time.

Warrington's victory over St Helens last night set up a nail biting finish to the league campaign.

With Tigers pushing for top spot and Wakefield still in with a chance of making the play-offs Daryl Powell told Chris Dawkes the game is one of the biggest derbies in recent years:

Wildcats appoint Gilmour as assistant

Wakefield have appointed much-travelled former Great Britain forward Lee Gilmour as assistant coach on a two-year contract.

Lee Gilmour appointed Wildcats assistant Credit: Press Association

The 35-year-old former Wigan, Bradford, St Helens, Huddersfield and Castleford second rower, who joined the Wildcats on loan in May and has played in their last 11 matches, will join head coach James Webster and Stuart Dickens on the club's backroom staff from 2015 but will continue to be available to play.

"I've been really pleased with what Lee has offered in his time here," said Webster, who stepped up from the role of assistant coach when Richard Agar left the club in June.

His insight into the game has been very good and the knowledge and ideas he has are fantastic.

I think you'd find it hard to find a more experienced player still involved in the the game.

Lee is always keen to strap on his boots but he's coming as coach first. Should he ever want to play, he'll be able to.

– James Webster, Wildcats coach

Dewsbury-born Gilmour, who was out of the game for almost 12 months with shoulder and knee injuries before making his comeback with the Wildcats, is not yet ready to hang up his boots but is keen to get into coaching.

Physically I feel fine. I've really enjoyed it here. I had a tough year not playing but I got an opportunity to start again here.

We'll see how things go next year, a lot will depend on the squad we finish up with.

I coached Shaw Cross, my local amateur team, for about seven years, and I've been under some really good coaches over the years so hopefully I can pass some of that knowledge on.

– Lee Gilmour

Wakefield will be without captain Danny Kirmond for the rest of the seasonafter he was booked in for operations on both hands and a knee.

Lauitiiti signs two year deal with Wildcats

Ali Lauitiiti has become the latest man to extend his stay at the Wildcats after penning a two-year deal that will keep him at the club until the end of 2016.

Ali Lauitiiti has signed a two-year deal with Wakefield Wildcats Credit: Press Association

The 35-year old signed for Trinity ahead of the 2012 season and has been an influential figure for the club in his 60 Super League appearances.

A former New Zealand international, Lauitiiti has made the second highest number of offloads for the Wildcats in 2014 despite only making 14 appearances having sustained a knee injury at the home of former club Leeds Rhinos in April.

I'm grateful to get the opportunity to sign up again and thankful to the club.

It's been an enjoyable three years. It's a great bunch of boys and the coaching staff are good so although we've had some tough times, the boys have stuck together and had a good team spirit.

– Ali Lauitiiti
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