His partnership with Fred Smith made a very strong right-wing. In 1959-60 they scored 73 tries between them, with Skene scoring 35. Smith’s 38 was a new club record. Skene finished sixth in the season’s national try scorers list. Two of Skene’s tries came in the Challenge Cup Final when Trinity beat Hull 38-5 at Wembley.
The following weekend Trinity had the chance of the League and Cup double, but Wigan overwhelmed them 27–3. But two medals in his first full season was a good return. Trinity had also won the Yorkshire League. The following season brought another medal – Skene was part of the Wakefield team that beat Huddersfield 16-10 in the Yorkshire Cup Final. Further success followed in 1961-62 when Wakefield again reached the Championship and Challenge Cup Finals.
Trinity triumphed again at Wembley, Neil Fox scoring all the points in a 12-6 win over Huddersfield. But the Fartown side got their revenge the next week, winning the Championship Final 14-5 at Odsal. Trinity also won the Yorkshire League. Earlier in the season, Skene had scored his first try in a Cup Final, when Wakefield beat Leeds 13-9 to win the Yorkshire Cup.
And he won his first international honours, playing twice for a Rugby League XIII, against France and New Zealand. He scored 24 tries but was only the fourth highest South African in the season’s list, van Vollenhoven, club-mate Jan Prinsloo and Workington’s Piet Pretorius were all ahead of him. Skene also played for Wakefield Trinity on their 1962 tour to South Africa. He left Wakefield in November 1962, having played 136 games, scoring 69 tries. In four years he had played in six major finals, and won three medals for the Yorkshire League.
By Hendrik Snyders