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Five contenders to replace Daryl Powell as Warrington Wolves head coach

As the dust settles on Daryl Powell’s departure from Warrington Wolves, attentions at the Halliwell Jones Stadium must quickly turn towards finding a capable replacement.

Despite losing their last six matches, Wire are still in the play-off places thanks to their superb start to the season and bringing in the right coach now could still give them a shot at Grand Final glory come October.

It was confirmed on Sunday night that the club ‘will now begin a thorough process to select a new Head Coach’, so could that new coach be? – Here are five potential replacements for Powell at the Wolves.

Justin Holbrook

The first and most obvious choice is former St Helens coach Justin Holbrook. The Australian is currently available after he was harshly sacked by Gold Coast Titans, having turned the fortunes of the club around since joining in 2020. That came after turning Saints into the best side in Super League, joining halfway through 2017 and winning the title in 2019. Holbrook arrived at the Totally Wicked Stadium with the club underachieving, by the time he left the same group of players were dominating the competition playing a brand of rugby the fans loved. A stumbling block in Holbrook taking over at Warrington is that he’s currently in talks about a role at Newcastle Knights, though this is not believed to be as head coach which could open the door for the Wolves to make their move.

Lee Briers

Could the Warrington legend return? Lee Briers holds a number of records for Wire having played 425 games between 1998 and 2013, captaining the club to Challenge Cup glory at Wembley on multiple occasions. Regarded as one of the greatest to have played in primrose and blue, Briers has already coaches the Wolves when he was assistant to Steve Price from 2018. The Welsh international left alongside Price at the end of 2021 and after a season as Matt Peet’s assistant at Wigan in 2022, he is currently one of Brisbane Broncos’ assistant coaches. Briers has helped the Broncos become title contenders in the NRL this season, and having described his role in Brisbane as ‘a dream’, Wire may have trouble tempting the former great back to Cheshire.

Michael Monaghan

Another former Warrington player in the NRL is Michael Monaghan. The former hooker is current pathways and specialist coach for the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles, having previously spent time as part of the backroom staff at Catalans Dragons. Monaghan is held in high regard at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, having played 167 games for the club between 2008 and 2014. That period saw the Wolves go from a struggling Super League side to title contenders, winning three Challenge Cups in four years, with Monaghan at the forefront of that. It’s unknown whether the 43-year-old wants to become a head coach, but with a wealth of experience in the NRL and a knowhow of the Warrington club, he could be an interesting outside shot to land the job.

Justin Morgan

Former Hull KR head coach Justin Morgan was strongly linked with the Castleford Tigers job at the start of the season and has publicly made his ambitions of coaching in Super League again clear. Morgan oversaw a great period in the history of Rovers, helping them back to Super League and cementing them as a top-flight club across seven years at Craven Park. The 47-year-old is currently assistant coach to Andrew Webster at the high-flying New Zealand Warriors, with the club third on the NRL ladder and hoping to bring a first-ever Premiership title to New Zealand. But Morgan is believed to still want to be a number one and a move to the Northern Hemisphere is something that could be attractive to him, especially a club the size of Warrington – watch this space!

Gary Chambers and Richard Marshall

As is always the case when a club appoints an interim, that coach, or coaches in this case, may have a shot at getting the job if results pick up quickly. It was confirmed following Powell’s sacking that the club’s head of youth, Gary Chambers, would be put in interim charge, supported by former Halifax Panthers and Salford Red Devils head coach Richard Marshall, until a permanent appointment is made. With Warrington’s game against league leaders’ Catalans Dragons as soon as this Friday, the duo will get at least one game to showcase their talents it seems.

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