Warrington CEO claims rivals made ‘ridiculous demands’ to try acquire George Williams in swap deal

Warrington have had an impressive off-season as they’ve backed Daryl Powell after a torrid first year in charge.

The hierarchy at the Wolves have worked with the former Castleford boss to overhaul the squad, with Catalans Dragons trio Sam Kasiano, Gil Dudson and Josh Drinkwater joining the likes of Paul Vaughan and Josh McGuire at the Halliwell Jones Stadium next season.

They also made the shock re-signing of winger Matty Russell last week to add much-needed strength in depth, something the club’s Chief Executive Karl Fitzpatrick is keen to address. 

Speaking at a fan’s forum event Fitzpatrick was asked about the lack of depth in the backs within the squad, a question which led to him detailing some of the transfer business over the off-season and a trade-off with the Huddersfield Giants.

“I agree with that (the lack of depth), we’re disappointed in terms of Jake Wardle not returning (following a loan spell).

“We tried to do a deal with Huddersield (his parent club), but I’ll be honest with you, they were asking ridiculous demands.

“They wanted Josh Thewlis and Connor Wrench,” Fitzpatrick explained to big laughs from the audience, before bluntly explaining what those in attendance were thinking… “that doesn’t work.”

He added: “The next one was they said ‘we’ll have George Williams’, that doesn’t work either, so we just couldn’t get to a solution unfortunately. 

“Jake was disappointed, he wanted to come here and we wanted him here but he’s contracted by Huddersfield and they had a say where he went as well (Wigan Warriors).

“What Huddersfield were asking for just didn’t fit what we were asking for.”

Whilst the Wolves laughed at the offer of Wardle for Williams, Giants fans can dream of an off-season in an alternative universe where they managed to score George Williams alongside Jake Connor.

After Fitzpatrick had explained why there hadn’t been recruitment in the backs, and specifically at centre, he explained how Stefan Ratchford can play there before new signing Josh McGuire chirped in.

“There’s also Connor Wrench there too,” said McGuire. “I personally feel like we’ve got pretty good depth there.”

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