Wildcats reject Robins offer for Cockayne
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats have turned down a cash offer from Hull KR for in-form winger Ben Cockayne, coach Richard Agar has confirmed.
The 29-year-old Cockayne, who scored 57 tries in 138 appearances for the Robins until being sacked by them two years ago for a breach of discipline, is back on their wanted list after taking his game to a new level at the Wildcats.
Agar today confirmed he recently rejected a proposed player exchange deal from Hull KR for Cockayne, who has played his way into England coach Steve McNamara's elite training squad, and that the club have since come back with a cash offer.
"Well over a month ago (Hull KR assistant coach) Chris Chester asked me if we had any interest in swapping Ben Cockayne," Agar said.
"They offered us a player that is obviously over-paid in their camp and is surplus to requirements and we turned it down flat.
"It wasn't a serious offer in my opinion.
"I believe they have since spoken at board level and come in with an offer but at the moment it's a flat no and we can put an end to it unless they come back and I suppose up the ante, in which case that becomes out of my hands.
"It's then a decision for (chairman) Andrew Glover and (chief executive) James Elston.
"I don't want to release him. He's under contract until the end of next year and he's happy here."
Agar is clearly hoping Wakefield, who were in administration just two and a half years ago, do not become a selling club.
They yesterday agreed to allow half-back or hooker Kyle Wood to rejoin Huddersfield Giants and Agar admits he is worried about losing in-form captain Danny Kirmond, despite him also being under contract.
"I think it's great that we're attracting cash offers for our players," Agar said.
"I'm keen to make sure we hang onto our best players and get them tied down.
"Danny Kirmond is one of them. While he's got 18 months left on his contract, I'm pretty certain he's attracted strong interest from elsewhere in the game."
Kirmond, meanwhile, has been cleared to face Widnes Vikings on Monday after agreeing to play through the pain barrier.
The former Huddersfield second rower badly damaged a finger during Monday's 27-26 win at Hull FC and feared he would need to have surgery.
"It's terrific news on him," said Agar. "He may not need an operation and, if he does, we can put it off until the end of the season.
"So, as long as pain allows and he's comfortable with it, which he is, we're not going to lose him.
"His finger is a mess - it's a funny shape - but players are incredibly tough. It's in a splint but he's going to be able to cope with it until the end of the year."
Kirmond's all-clear is the second piece of good news for Agar this week following the Rugby Football League's decision not to suspend prop Justin Poore for a "spear" tackle in Monday's game which Hull coach Peter Gentle described as "disgusting".
"I thought the reaction out of their camp was over the top," Agar added. "There was no intent in it and I'm glad the judiciary saw it that way.
"Justin has got a caution and, had he got a game, I don't think we would have had any complaints either. We don't want spear tackles in the game.
"We came out of Monday's game thinking that we might lose Justin, albeit for a week or so, and we thought we were going to lose Kirmo potentially for the rest of the season so it's terrific news for us that both guys are clear to play this week."