In the second episode of our new weekly feature called ‘In the Know’ we speak to League Express journalist Matt Shaw (@M_Shaw1) as he gives the lowdown on all things Warrington Wolves.
Warrington had a difficult season last year. Do you feel they’ll have put that behind them and we’ll see the Warrington of old in 2018?
Yes, but not instantly. There will be a bedding in period for Steve Price and the new-look squad, but you can’t keep a good team down and Wire will eventually come good.
They’ve made a few big signings this year. What do you think these sort of players will bring to the Warrington squad?
I think as a collective unit they’ll bring a freshness to the squad. Life under Tony Smith sadly became stale after a fantastic spell, but they say a coach has a lifespan and that can probably relate to a squad too. There’s no doubting the talent they’ve recruited. It’s certainly an exciting year.
Obviously one signing is Ben Murdoch-Masila who was formerly with Salford. What do you think he’ll offer to Wire?
An obvious observation, granted, but he’ll give them some much needed size. Over the past two years we’ve seen more and more clubs go for bigger forwards. Hull FC and Wakefield are the best examples. In comparison, Warrington probably lacked that sheer size in the pack compared to others. Big Ben will help change that.
They’ve got a new Coach in Steve Price. What do you know about him and how do you expect Warrington to play under his stewardship?
Steve comes with a fantastic reputation, but not so much for the expansive attacking play we’ve come to expect from Warrington. When I first interviewed him his go-to phrase was “tough to beat.” He’s a defensive based coach and that will mean a noticeable change to Warrington’s brand of rugby.
Overall, what are your predictions for Warrington in 2018?
A steady start that will see them go under the radar before picking up momentum once the Super 8s arrive. Will it be their year? Very hard to say, but if you were judging it on mere quality, they’ve every chance.
Score prediction: 20-14