Players In Common - Wakefield Trinity

Players In Common - Wakefield Trinity widnesvikings.co.uk
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13th March 2018

Widnes Vikings take on Wakefield Trinity on Saturday 17th March in the Betfred Super League.

The Vikings will be looking to record their first away win of the season when visiting the Mobile Rocket Stadium, and getting back on track to cement their place in the top six of the Super League. 

Therefore, we take a look at four players that have worn both the Widnes and Wakefield shirt, including two that might make an appearance at the Mobile Rocket Stadium on Saturday... 

 

Chris Dean

Chris, although a Wigan-lad, was signed up by St Helens at the age of 15 after impressing with Orrell St James. With 10 tries in 23 appearances for the Saints, Wakefield Trinity acquired the services of Chris for the 2011 season. Becoming a regular for the Yorkshire side, Dean picked up 9 tries in 21 appearances for John Kear’s side and impressed throughout his stay at Belle Vue. 

Following the Vikings’ return to Super League for the 2012 season, it was announced that Dean would sign for the first season back in the top flight, having previously had two loan spells at the Club. Dean, who can operate to consistent high standard in the back row and the centres, has become a mainstay in Denis Betts’ side during his time at the Vikings. 

Making 146 appearances in a Vikings shirt, and scoring 31 tries during that time, Chris is an integral part of a youthful Widnes team, and his new deal at the Club until the end of 2020 emphasises the ability and experience he adds to the squad.

 

Scott Grix 

Currently in his second spell at Wakefield Trinity, Scott Grix has proven to be a solid, and consistent fullback for any Club he has played for during his career. 

The 33 year old started off his career with Doncaster, before moving to home town Halifax in 2004. Leigh Centurions was Grix’s next destination, going on to making 28 appearances for the Centurions, scoring 13 tries, before the move to the Vikings in 2007.

Impressing hugely at full back during the season, Grix scored 21 tries, and crossed the whitewash in the Club’s 54-6 victory over Whitehaven in the Northern Rail Cup final in Blackpool. His stay at the Halton Stadium would be a short one, and moved to Wakefield for the 2008 season. 

After a good first year with the Club, Grix was named as Ireland’s captain for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup, and was one of the country’s better performers throughout the tournament. 

Another solid season at Wakefield meant Huddersfield chased after his services and signed a deal for the 2010 season. Grix would spend seven seasons with the Giants, finishing with a 1 in 3 record with 57 tries in 161 appearances before returning to Trinity for the 2017 season. 

Grix is still a vital part of Chris Chester’s side, and helped the Club to a 5th place finish in 2017. Grix has started 2018 in similar, including a Man of the Match display against Salford Red Devils, and will be looking to continue that throughout the year.  

 

Anthony Mullally

Local boy Mullally started out his rugby league career with the Vikings, rising through the Club’s Academy system before graduating into the first team squad. Anthony was part of the squad in 2012 as the Vikings returned to Super League after being granted a license, making 10 appearances. 

The forward made 11 appearances in the black and white shirt, before signing a deal across the Pennines with Huddersfield Giants for the 2013 season. His performances for the Giants in the 2013 season was enough to earn himself a place at the World Cup with Ireland, and played in all three games as the Irish were knocked out at the Pool Stage. 

The following two years mixed time for Mullally with his parent Club, Huddersfield, and short-term spells at Bradford Bulls, Batley Bulldogs and Wakefield Trinity. An appearance for Trinity in the 2015 Million Pound Game against Bradford Bulls followed, playing well in a 24-16 win for Wakefield to secure their Betfred Super League status. 

Anthony was on the move after that season, joining Leeds Rhinos on the back of their Treble winning season in 2015. Mullally has become an integral part to the Rhinos pack, often coming off the bench and having huge impacts. His first competitive appearance for Brian McDermott’s side was in the World Club Challenge against the North Queensland Cowboys, before going on to making 18 appearances that season.

2017 proved a fruitful year for Mullally, scoring 7 tries in 34 appearances domestically, as the Rhinos claimed the Super League title. Another World Cup call up beckoned, and was part of the Irish squad that won two of their three games, but were cruelly denied of a place in the knockout rounds. 

 

Damien Blanch

The Australia-born and Irish representative started out his first grade career at Castleford Tigers in the 2006 season. Following a year with the Tigers, Blanch made the move to Widnes Vikings in the Championship. Damien became a try scoring machine on the wing with 19 tries in 27 appearances, with a Northern Rail Cup Final appearance as the Vikings ran out convincing winners over Whitehaven. 

The 2008 season brought another change for the winger, this time signing with the rivals of former club Castleford in Wakefield Trinity. Another fruitful spell of tries would occur for Damien, with 36 tries in 52 appearances during his three seasons at Belle Vue. In 2008, Blanch was named in the Ireland squad for the 2008 World Cup, and finished the tournament as one of the top try scorers. Similar form continues the year after in 2009, and his fperformances for both club and country culminated in being award the Ireland Player of the Year for 2009. 

Blanch then joined Catalans Dragons ahead of the 2011 season, and in his debut season in Perpignan, was the Club’s leading scorer with a tally of 17 tries. Just like he had through the rest of the career, Blanch had a record of better than one try every two games, and finished with 46 tries in 75 games, including a superb effort against Huddersfield Giants at The Shay. Blanch’s time in Super League finished in 2013, and played for Ireland in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup before moving back to Australia. 

Other notable mentions that have worn both shirts are Jason Demetriou, Adam Hughes, Paul McShane, Kevin Penny, Danny Sculthorpe, Oliver Wilkes, Paul Johnson. Have we missed anyone? Let us know on our social media channels, @widnesrl, @widnesvikingsrlfcofficial.

 

Tickets for Saturday's game are available to purchase. Click here for full ticket details...

Players In Common - Wakefield Trinity widnesvikings.co.uk