Daryl Powell has conducted one of his first Warrington interviews since being made head coach and one of the issues being discussed was the spine of the Wolves’ team.
Among that spine is English halfback Gareth Widdop, who has recently returned to Australia to be with his family after spending most of the 2021 Super League season without them.
Upon his return Down Under, Widdop documented his tough fortnight’s quarantine in a hotel and has since been pictured training with former St George Illawarra Dragons teammate Zac Lomax.
For new boss Powell, however, there is no question that the halfback will return and have a major impact on the Warrington side following an extended break in Australia.
“Every coach has his own philosophy on how he thinks the game should be played and embedding that is going to be the big challenge,” Powell told the Warrington website.
“Gaz Widdop’s not coming in until after Christmas and Stef Ratchford’s injured at the moment so that’s going to take a bit of time but building the culture and the work ethic and all of those foundations they can be put in place.
“It’s an embedded spine – they know each other. We’re going to play differently to the way Warrington’s played in the last few years. My job is to make sure that’s knitted together before the start of the season.
“Widdop, Williams, Ratchford and then Clark at 9 with Danny Walker as an option – they’re great people to have in your squad and as good as anything in Super League and potentially the world of Rugby League.”
Powell, however, knows how lengthy a process it will be to ensure Warrington will be of a high quality in 2022.
That’s going to be a process – you can’t put the whole pre-season into a short period of time. What I’ve done is explained to them how it all fits together.
“I want us to be a really skilful team and we’re going to have to work pretty hard at that. The nuts and bolts of the way we’re going to play just takes time. To roll it all out will take the full pre-season.