Exclusive: Josh Thewlis on no.2 shirt, Matty Russell competition and England selection

Despite being just 20 years of age, Josh Thewlis has already played for Warrington in four separate seasons – debuting against Catalans Dragons in June of 2019.

Now, 37 appearances and 14 tries later, the lad from Oldham is ready for his biggest season yet after being awarded the number two jersey from head coach Daryl Powell.

Thewlis made 20 of those appearances last season after Josh Charnley left the club to join the Leigh Leopards. The stand-in winger impressed in that time – scoring 10 tries and making over 2000 metres.

His efforts have been rewarded, with the Warrington coaching staff believing in Thewlis to be the future starting winger at the club.

Speaking to the 20-year-old in an exclusive interview, it is clear that Thewlis was pleasantly surprised to get the jersey, but he knows it doesn’t guarantee him a place in the squad.

“It’s not something I really expected but I’m buzzing to get it and hopefully I can keep hold of it.

“It’s great to see that Powelly (Daryl Powell) can trust me by giving me this number but by no means this means I’m going to get a game every week.

“I still understand I’ve got to work as hard as I can and that’s something that I’ll be doing.”

Thewlis’ main competition will be with new signing Matty Russell, who returns to the club after five years.

The former Toulouse man impressed last year and will also be determined for a place in the starting squad.

He will wear the number 34 jersey, due to him signing after the squad numbers were announced.

“I’ve picked up quite a few games last year and I was number 22 so obviously, I know that can happen for other lads in the squad, so I’ve just got to push and keep them out and perform.”

“Powelly’s going to pick his best team to play every week and a team that’s essentially going to get a win.

I’m still trying to build on my game and pick up some more regular games and hopefully, I can cement a position in the team.”

Thewlis also spoke about some of his career highlights so far, including playing alongside his brother, Jake, and his call-up to the England Knights.

“Best moment of my career so far – the obvious one is the debut.

“But I’ve had a couple of proud moments with the family. I played with my younger brother in pre-season which was a pretty special night for the family coming to watch us both play together for the first time.

“Obviously, England Knights this year was pretty special for me. My family travelled over to France and to Scotland to watch me play.

“But if I had to go for one it would have to be my debut. Just a young lad’s dream coming true, and all my family were there to see it, so it was a really proud day.”

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