It was confirmed early this morning that Warrington Wolves had missed out on their preferred Daryl Powell replacement with ex St Helens boss Justin Holbrook rejecting the Wire and signing with Sydney Roosters for 2024.
It’s a big blow for Warrington who dismissed Powell late on Sunday evening follow what has been a rollercoaster 18 months, one that ended with six straight losses and a crushing defeat to bottom of the table Wakefield Trinity.
That sparked the end for Powell and triggered the search for a new head coach with Holbrook deemed as the favourite by bookmakers and seemingly the favourite among the higher up at the Halliwell Jones.
That’s because it was reported early this week that an interview had been held with Holbrook and then Thursday morning saw reports of an offer being tabled to him.
Andrew Voss reported an incentive packed deal was on the table, but the Daily Telegraph rubbished that when they reported that Holbrook would opt to stay in the NRL.
That was confirmed this morning with Sydney Roosters announcing Holbrook would be joining their coaching team for 2024, leaving Warrington to have to find themselves another target.
One man who has been revealed as a very unexpected target is former England international Sam Burgess.
That’s per the Daily Telegraph who report Burgess has emerged as a surprise contender, ‘headlines a list of potential Australian-based candidates’.
Burgess is currently working with his former club South Sydney Rabbitohs but only as an assistant, although he’s stated intentions to move into a top job at some point.
The Telegraph report that he and Cronulla Sharks assistant Josh Hannay are heading the list of candidates and with Burgess having just one year left on his contract with the Bunnies, Warrington could make a shocking play for the former prop forward.
Burgess led a side to the Grand Final in Group 2 in northern New South Wales last season and is serving as an assistant with the Rabbitohs right now meaning it would be a very bold move to appoint him as head coach at the Halliwell Jones.
Whilst the search for Powell’s replacement looks to centre in Australia the Telegraph does report that ‘Warrington are also exploring potential options in England’.
That could be Paul Rowley who has been tipped by former Wire player Kevin Brown and pundit Jon Wilkin, but for now the club will run with interim head coach Gary Chambers.