Warrington Wolves head coach Daryl Powell is preparing to take his new side to his former club for the first time since leaving Castleford Tigers at the end of the 2021 Super League season.
Powell enjoyed almost nine years at the Jungle before taking the reins at Warrington following the departure of Steve Price.
One player who won’t be in Powell’s side for the Wolves tomorrow is Mike Cooper, with the former Leeds Rhinos boss favouring youngster Tom Whitehead in the 21-man squad, though Kyle Amor is still out.
And, the Warrington boss explained just why: “Mike Cooper is fine. I just decided to give a young player an opportunity in the squad, but Kyle needs another week,” Powell told Wire TV.
Gareth Widdop, who himself is expected to join Castleford for 2023, is out for a number of weeks with a dislocated shoulder – but Powell revealed it is not as bad as it could have been.
“This is the fourth time he’s done it, but it doesn’t need an operation.
“The prognosis is six weeks I think, so you’re getting towards the back end of the season there.
“I’m not sure if he would be available again this season, but for him as a bloke and as a player, it’s pretty good news I think.
“It could have been much worse. I think he’s going to be alright which is great news for him.”
Asked if there is a chance that Widdop could play again this season, Powell was hopeful.
“I think there’s a slight chance, but getting him right is the most important thing.
“There might be a scenario where he could play at the end if we’re in the play-offs and if we get to the semi-finals.
“But then there’s a team that’s brought you to a semi-final, so you’ve got to make those decisions.
“I haven’t got a crystal ball, but I think it would still be unlikely that he’ll play.”
Upon returning to the Jungle, Powell had these words to say: “It’s a great place and I really enjoyed my time here but it’s about a different day here.
“Sometimes when you move house it takes three months and you feel like you’ve been there forever.
“Things move on and I’ve got a big job here at Warrington.”