Rugby League

Kevin Locke joins Wakefield Wildcats on short-term deal

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In something of a bizarre couple of seasons, Kevin Locke has gone from playing in a World Cup final with New Zealand to bottom of the Super League club Wakefield Wildcats in an attempt to salvage something of his career.

There was the potential for Locke to be a one-club-man, joining the New Zealand Warriors in 2008 and playing his debut first team game in May 2009.

By 2010 he was the first choice fullback for the side, and played in the 2011 Grand Final loss against Manley.

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In the October of the 2011 he made his debut for the New Zealand national side, scoring the Kiwi's only try in a 42-6 defeat against Australia.

The arguable beginning of the end came with the announcement that Sam Tomkins, of the Wigan Warriors, would be joining the New Zealand Warriors side.

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With both Tomkins and Locke operating best at fullback, it was the latter that was pushed from the side. Tomkins joined the side for the beginning of the 2014 season, scoring in his 2nd game.

Entirely out of favour, having only played 2 games, Locke announced his departure from New Zealand, and that he was set to join Salford Red Devils.

Initially due to sign at the end of the 2014 season, the two sides worked out a deal, and the fullback joined the Red Devils immediately, making his debut in July 2014.

The early signs in his debut were promising for Salford, and for Locke. He scored a try and converted 6 for a 36-10 win over Huddersfield Giants.

But, again, his performances began to taper off, and he wasn't aided at all by progressive injuries which have seen him miss large portions of the season. 

Rumours began to circulate in early 2015 of Locke's, and Salford's, unhappiness, and the potentiality for the star to move to a rugby union side. None of this helped by Evalds being the first choice fullback for the Red Devils.

It was finally announced on Tuesday that Locke had been released from his contract by Salford as a free agent.

Not All Gloom

Silver linings are to sought, and easily found, especially for Wakefield, the side that Locke has now joined.

The bottom of the league side are without a win in their last 16 league games. But, they have a new coach in Brian Smith, and the now acquisition of Locke.

It's also a chance for Locke to prove himself, which he so badly needs especially - as one heavily presumes he won't remain at Wakefield in 2016 - in order to market himself to a club for next year, be it Super League, an NRL return (Tomkins leaving NZ leaves room there again), or even rugby union.

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Salford City Reds
Rugby League
Wakefield Wildcats
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