Warrington Wolves bring back former player as coach for 2023

It was a shock when Warrington Wolves parted with former Leeds Rhinos and Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell but that wasn’t the biggest shock.

That came with the appointment of star name and England international Sam Burgess as head coach for 2024.

Burgess will be joined by assistant Richard Marshall and another assistant is set to be appointed.

This was initially believed to be Sean Long but he has gone to Wakefield Trinity.

Could it be Martin Gleeson?

The former Wigan Warriors and Hull FC star has returned to the club to help them for the rest of the season.

He had previously been working for England Rugby Union before the coaching shake up saw Kevin Sinfield join the set up and Gleeson leave.

Warrington made the following statement:

“Former Wire Martin Gleeson has come on board for the rest of the 2023 season in an advisory role to the first team coaching set-up, specialising in the team’s attack.”

It remains to be seen who the club will appoint as Burgess’ assistant but could it be Gleeson.

Burgess was confirmed as the head coach at the Halliwell Jones Stadium for 2024 by the Wolves earlier this week after a hunt for a head coach that lasted just over a week.

Initial candidate Justin Holbrook accepted before making a U-turn on his decision in favour of staying in the NRL close to his family.

The appointment of Burgess comes just a few years after he hung up the boots but his motivational skills and man management are believed to be high on the club’s list for reasons they made the move for him.

Chairman Stuart Middleton had told BBC Radio Merseyside on Wednesday of the reasons behind the appointment of Burgess.

Revealing that Burgess had reached out to the club, Middleton explained: “We looked into it in more detail and we arranged a Zoom call and we had several conversations. Behind the scenes we did a little bit of research and spoke to several people about his abilities as a coach and as a person.

“We had some very positive feedback. I think it’s in the press that Matty Johns, who we spoke to, spoke very highly of him and said he’ll be a top Australian coach in the future and we should consider him. So, yeah, we had further chats and looked on the shortlist and no commitment and looked elsewhere.

“We went back to him and had further discussions and we’re very, very impressed with what he had to say and we gave him the job.”

He will take charge for 2024 after completing the current NRL season as an assistant coach with South Sydney Rabbitohs.