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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


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


Lopini Paea swaps France for Wakefield

Wakefield coach James Webster has returned to Perpignan to make his latest signing for 2015.

James Webster signs his fourth player for 2015 Credit: Press Association

Tonga prop Lopini Paea, 30, is to follow his Catalan Dragons team-mate Mickael Simon in swapping the south of France for West Yorkshire after signing a 12-month contract with the Wildcats.

Paea, whose brother Mickey plays for Hull, has made 76 Super League appearances since joining the French club from Sydney Roosters in 2011.

"He's an experienced player and been a pivotal part of what is a very big and aggressive pack at Catalans," said Webster. "We're extremely happy to have him with us for next year."

The 16st 3lb Paea, who captained Tonga in the 2008 World Cup, is Wakefield's fourth addition to their squad for 2015 following the acquisition of Simon, Craig Hall and Matty Ashurst as Webster prepares for his first full season in charge.

It's a new challenge for me, a new lifestyle and I feel like a big kid starting all over again.

I'm really looking forward to coming to Wakefield and recapturing some of my best form again. I've been really impressed with the way the team have been playing for each other since James Webster has taken over and as a player that's something you want to be part of.

I've spoken to him a couple of times and I was really impressed with what he had to say.

– Lopini Paea

Washbrook signs new Wildcats deal

Wakefield loose forward Danny Washbrook has agreed a new 12-month contract to remain with the Wildcats in 2015.

Danny Washbrook has signed a new deal with Wakefield Wildcats Credit: Press Association

The 28-year old has been a mainstay in the team since joining from Hull in 2012, appearing in all but three of a possible 78 Super League appearances in that time, and is the club's leading tackler this year.

I've really enjoyed it here. If you speak to any of the boys that are here or those that have left, they'll say it's the best group of lads they've played with throughout their career and I'd have to agree with that.

– Danny Washbrook

The players and the staff are really happy that Washy has agreed a new deal. He plays 80 minutes in the middle and it's important to have players like that in your squad, particularly as we'll be running with quite a small squad next year."

– James Webster, Wakefield Wildcats coach

Lyne signs new Wildcats deal

Wakefield threequarter Reece Lyne has committed his future to the Wildcats by signing a new three-year contract.

The 21-year-old former England academy international, joined from Hull 18 months ago, had over a year left on his current deal but has opted to extend his stay at Wakefield until the end of2017.

It's fantastic news that Reece wanted to extend his deal with us. He had a lot of interest from other places and realistically, you need to look at what Reece has done at the age of only 21. He's only going to get better.

– James Webster, Wildcats coach

Hall agrees Wakefield move

Craig Hall Credit: Press Association

Wakefield have signed Hull KR centre Craig Hall on a two-year contract.

The 26-year-old former Hull player will join up with the Wildcats at the end of the season when his contract with the Robins runs out.

"I've had four good years at Rovers and now I want to take my experience to a fresh start at Wakefield," said Hall.

"I've loved every minute at Rovers. It's the club I supported growing up so it's been a proud four years for me. Hopefully we can pick up some good results between now and the end of the season then I can have a good rest and really rip in to pre-season and have a big year next year."

Hall has spent his entire career on Humberside apart from a five-game loan spell at Widnes where he played alongside Wakefield head coach, James Webster.

"I'm delighted to get Craig on board for 2015," said Webster. "Craig is a player that possesses great speed and we feel that his all-round game and versatility will add plenty to our current squad."

Hull KR chief executive Mike Smith said: "I'd like to thank Craig for everything he has done for the club over the past four seasons.

"With Darrell Goulding joining us for next season and adding to the likes of Kris Welham, Liam Salter and Macauley Hallett who are already in the squad, we have plenty of options in the centres and can appreciate Craig's desire for regular first-team football at this stage of his career."

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