It’s fair to say that 2022 has hardly gone to plan for the Warrington Wolves and Daryl Powell.
Powell arrived at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in a hail of fireworks having left his former club Castleford Tigers in a much better place than when he first took over back in 2013.
Ever since then, the Pontefract-born coach improved the West Yorkshire drastically, taking them from basement dwellers to silverware hunters in an incredibly short space of time.
Unfortunately, expectation at Warrington is a lot different than at Castleford and Powell has certainly not had an easy rise up until now, with fans’ criticism growing with every loss.
However, the Cheshire club are backing Powell to the hilt with major signings arriving in the shape of Thomas Mikaele, Matt Dufty, Paul Vaughan and Josh McGuire.
Upon signing Josh McGuire, head coach Daryl Powell said: “Josh is a tough, aggressive forward and I see a lot of strong leadership in his game.
“From my conversations with him he’s very passionate about coming over here for the right reasons.
“He’s had a fantastic career. He’s an Australian international who has played at the highest level. We want a big, tough pack that can go out there and dominate every other pack in the competition which is what I believe we’ve put in place for next season with our recruitment.”
Among those overseas stars at Warrington currently are Peter Mata’utia, Jason Clark and Mikaele and Dufty with Vaughan, McGuire and Sam Kasiano to link up with the Wolves ahead of the 2023 Super League season.
With Clark departing for the Limoux Grizzlies for 2023, however, that opens the door for one more overseas signing for Powell and Warrington – and let’s face it, it is going to be a big one if their spending so far is anything to go by.
Who will it be? Well there has been no inkling yet as to who the Cheshire club will look to bring in alongside those already recruited though it is unlikely to be another front-rower considering the conglomerate of those arriving.
A back-rower could be on Powell’s wishlist with Jack Hughes set to depart the club whilst another centre could be in the pipeline, though Jake Wardle’s loan move may have that covered.
Powell may go for another halfback too considering the fact that Gareth Widdop is leaving at the end of the season, though Warrington fans will be hoping to see the development of Riley Dean after the success of Josh Thewlis and Connor Wrench.
Powell is really building a ‘big name’ squad on paper, but, as everyone knows, rugby league is played on grass. And, his newest signing Dufty was hit with an injury on his debut, but he is expected to make a swift return for Warrington’s fixture against Toulouse Olympique tomorrow night.
Though Warrington’s spending has been massive in 2022, they currently only sit four points above Toulouse at the bottom of Super League and they know that defeat tomorrow night could bring them further into the relegation dogfight that perhaps no one expected at the start of the year.