On-Form AppoOn-form fullback Graham Appo talks about his time at the club and future ambitions.YOU HAVE CERTAINLY GOT A SPRING IN YOUR STEP THIS SEASON, IN PARTICULAR SATURDAY'S GAME AGAINST LONDON WITH THAT TRY SAVING TACKLE AND SCORING A TRY YOURSELF. WHAT'S THE CHANGE?I have been playing week in week out at first grade level, which is a boost to the confidence. I have been enjoying playing at fullback and I think you can see that coming across in my game. It also helps when you score tries.YOU SIGNED AN EXTENSION TO YOUR CONTRACT AT THE END OF THE SEASON, WHAT MADE YOU COMMIT ANOTHER YEAR TO THE CLUB?I think the players that have stayed here like Nat Wood, Darren Burns and Sid Domic have had an important part to play in my decision to stay with the club, they are the core of the team and have certainly influenced the team play. The likes of Lee Briers and Nick Fozzard have also shaped the team and I think that Warrington has a great side at the moment and I wanted to be part of the set up.YOU HAVE BEEN PLAYING AT FULLBACK SINCE LEE PENNY WENT OUT INJURIED, IS THAT YOUR FAVOURED POSITION?Definitely, fullback is my preferred position, but then again anywhere in the 17 I wouldn't argue with, as long as I am getting a run out. THE COMPETITION AND CAMMERADERIE IN THE TEAM SEEMS TO HAVE STEPPED UP A GEAR THIS SEASON. WHAT DO YOU CONTRIBUTE TO THIS CHANGE?Chach (Cullen) has done a pretty good job at bringing in players to spice things up such as Grosie and young Gaskell has been going well on the wing creating competition for that spot. The forwards are also playing for their positions, no one is safe week in week out and that is important in pushing the team goals up. I feel that we are going to have a good season and the team spirit is brilliant.THE FINAL YEAR AT WILDERSPOOL, WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS?I want to play as many first grade games as possible this season at fullback and to score as many tries as I can for the club.
Cullens Comments - London and HullPaul looks back at the weekend in the Capital and forward to this weekends opponents.THIS WEEK'S OPPOSITION HULL FC HAVE ESTABLISHED THEMSELVES AS MID TABLE/PLAY - OFF CONTENDERS OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF SEASONS. THIS SEASON THEY HAVE MOVED INTO A NEW STADIUM. DO YOU SEE THIS AS A POTENTIAL FOR WARRINGTON IN A COUPLE OF SEASONS? CAN YOU DRAW ANY COMPARISIONS WITH HULL?I see great comparisons between what they have achieved and what we aim to. Their re-build both on/off the field is great for Rugby League, it helps us to take the game to a different level.STEVO COMMENTED ON SKY THAT WARRINGTON WHERE "POTENTIAL PLAY-OFF CANDIDATE'S THIS SEASON" DO YOU SEE THAT AS FALSE HYPE SO EARLY IN THE SEASON, WILL IT BE A MATTER OF KEEPING THE PLAYER'S FEET FIRMLY ROOTED TO THE FLOOR?No one under my control at Wilderspool has any false illusions about were are priorities lie. I see every game we play as a relegation avoidance game. I see clear differences between the top 4 - St Helens, Bradford, Wigan and Leeds Rhinos and the other eight. I genuinely feel from that eight anyone can beat anyone. I certainly don't expect Widnes, Huddersfield and Wakefield to continue much longer with out win.TWO AWAY WINS OUT OF THREE, A GOOD START. IS THIS WHAT YOU ENVISAGED?I believe we are on track, it is arguable whether we could have been more competitive against Leeds with 13 men on the field rather than 12. But the for points we have already taken allow us the relevant breathing space to plan progressively to win against Hull. From Huddersfield first month their targeted points, where against London's targets and us where Halifax and Warrington and we haven't fallen at the first hurdle. The potential of a double win this week is in our minds considering last year's statistics where a winning streak was Halifax and Castleford (back to back wins) at the back end of the season securing our survival.IT CAN'T GO WITHOUT A MENTION THE SUPPORT THAT TRAVELLED TO LONDON WAS SUPERB. THIS WEEKEND'S GAME HULL ALSO HAVE A TREMENDOUS SUPPORT BASE, AGAIN IT IS GOING TO BE A MEMORABLE OCCASION IN WILDERSPOOL'S FINAL YEAR, HOW IMPORTANT ARE THE SUPPORTERS IN BACKING THE TEAM?We could hardly tell that we had been away from Wilderspool when we took on Huddersfield and London. Our travelling support has drowned out opposition home support. It's great for us, it's great for Sky Sports and it shows the game in a vibrant light. We would like to reward them with another win at home on Sunday.
Grappenhall Primary Link Tag FestivalThe Wolves, in conjunction with Grappenhall Giants Amateur Rugby League Club, will be holding a Primary Link festival at Warrington Sports Club tomorrow, Thursday 27th March from 12.30pm-3.00pm.The schools taking part will be from the Grappenhall area, the festival is a chance to see the culmination of the coaching each school has received and a chance for the pupils to display the skills that they have gained during the six week coaching period. Grappenhall Giants Amateur Rugby League Club services the cluster are. The æGiantsÆ have just received an æAwards For AllÆ bid and have kindly decided to use the funding to support our Primary Link Tag Festival.Each school will receive a training bag filled with 5 balls, 20 Tag Belts, Tags and 25 coloured cones plus holder, which will enable the children to develop their Rugby League skills further.The festival is very fortunate to have the æCheshire Constabulary Community Involvement FundÆ also sponsoring the event and they will be supporting the Fair Play, Best Boy and Best Girl Awards.Thursday 27th MarchGrappenhall Cluster Tag FestivalWarrington Sports Club12.30-3.00pm
Jon Clarke Looks for 50With his 50th game in a Warrington shirt this weekend, hooker Jon Clarke returns to his old club of London Broncos.JON THIS SEASON YOU ARE ONE OF THE LONGEST SERVING PLAYERS AT THE WOLVES JOINING IN SUPER LEAGUE VI, WHAT CHANGES HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED?Changes at the club, playing wise the overall thing is professional, a lot more direction in everything we do. Cul has got us confident in our own ability and we all believe that we can achieve more success on the field. Off the field there is a positive vibe, the whole club seems to be a lot more professional in their approach to the game.THIS WEEKEND YOU ARE RETURNING TO YOUR FORMER CLUB LONDON BRONCOS, WHAT MEMORIES DO YOU HAVE OF YOUR TIME WITH THEM?Great memories of London, we had some good victories against some big clubs, a club that is very much like this club very good team spirit, the staff are great everyone pulls together because they are separated from the rest of the world. Played with some of the game's greats in their time Jim Dymock, Richie Barnett and Jason Hetherington. Who are also some of the greatest blokes off the field.THIS SEASON YOU HAVE COMPETITION FOR THE HOOKING SPOT FROM YOUNG MARK GLEESON, HAS THIS MADE TRAINING MORE COMPETITIVE?Yes, I think in my position it has, with Glees pushing me. Cul has recruited players for all positions to make more competition in the side. Competition makes it more of an exciting environment to work in, because it brings the best out in the players, which is beneficial to the team.PJ HEALTH AND FITNESS CONSULTANTS, WHAT IS THAT ALL ABOUT?Myself and Paul Darbyshire have created a business to offer a whole range of health and fitness components to clients, these include personal training, massage, sports coaching and elite athlete training. There is a big scope in the market for personal training and people are becoming more conscious about health, fitness and diet and we hope to provide the best service for them.WHAT ARE YOUR AMBITIONS FOR THIS SEASON, THE FINAL ONE AT WILDERSPOOL?On a personal note, I only really had one goal was to play consistently well for Warrington every week. If I do that then the likes of Lancashire will follow on from that. I think that is how you get representative honours is by playing consistently. Obviously to try and have some sort of success in the final year at Wilderspool, which will take us nicely into the new stadium.
Round 3 - Squad to face LondonPaul Cullen has named a 19-man squad to travel to London for Saturday night's game.5. Graham Appo3. Brent Grose12. Ian Sibbit4. Ben Westwood20. Dean Gaskell6. Lee Briers7. Nat Wood8. Nick Fozzard9. Jon Clarke10. Mark Hilton11. Darren Burns23. Mike Wainwright13. Sid Domic14. Mark Gleeson18. Paul Noone15. Jerome Guisset16. Paul Wood21. Matt Sturm24. Kevin CrouthersInjuriesLee Penny (calf) has resumed first team training. Rob Smyth (hamstring) progressing well and Warren Stevens (groin) has also resumed first team training.MilestonesBoth Jon Clarke and Paul Noone are looking to make their 50th appearance in a Warrington shirt this weekend. Clarke has racked up 47 starts and 2 sub appearances since joining the club from London Broncos and Noone has 18starts and 31 sub appearances.Lee Briers is 4 goals short of his 450th for the club, already surpassing Harold "Moggy" Palins total of 436 goals Lee is currently 6th in the clubs all-time goal kicking chart. Lee also needs 7 points to equal the great Laurie Gilfedders' haul of 1,140 career points.
Cullen Previews BroncosPaul Cullen preview the Wolves trip to Griffin Park in the third round of Super League this weekend.DIFFICULT GAME AGAINST LEEDS RHINOS WITH 12 MEN, WHAT POSITIVES DID YOU TAKE FROM THE GAME?The positives that I would take from the game are the quality of the tries that we scored, whilst one man down. The fighting spirit that kept a high quality Leeds Rhinos side to a 10-point margin. If we consider what Leeds did to Hull seven days later it shows when our discipline reaches the required standard we are more than capable of competition with the best teams in the competition.NICK FOZZARD RECEIVED A ONE MATCH BAN FOR AN ALLEGED HIGH TACKLE, OTHER CLUBS WHOSE PLAYERS RECEIVED A BAN IN ROUND 2 HAVE USED THAT BAN IN THEIR U21S GAME, TO INSURE THAT PLAYERS ARE BACK FOR ROUND 3. DO YOU THINK THAT NICK'S BAN WAS FAIR AND ARE YOU USING THE U21S GAME FOR THE BAN? DO YOU THINK THAT THIS IDEA IS ABUSING THE SYSTEM?We received a very fair hearing at the RFL Head Quarters. Although Nick was sent off for something he didn't do, he wasn't sent off for something he did do. The loophole is there; I make no apologies for using it, although I don't expect it to be there for much longer.DO YOU THINK HAVING A WEEK OFF HAS BEEN HELPFUL IN YOUR PREPARATION FOR THIS WEEKEND'S GAME AGAINST LONDON BRONCOS, OR WOULD YOU RATHER BE INTO THE SWING OF SUPER LEAGUE ACTION?We have to make it helpful. I did consider re-arranging games and then decided against it after assessing our injury situation post Bradford, post Huddersfield and then last week post Leeds. If we had played last weekend then a number of our players would have been at a disadvantage, which also applies to the Broncos and this should provide a tough competitive game that we are expecting.LONDON ARE A SIDE KNOWN FOR ITS AUSSIE IMPORTS, THIS SEASON THE BALANCE HAS CHANGED AND THEY HAVE BROUGHT IN MORE BRITISH PLAYERS LIKE YOUR FORMER WHITEHAVEN PLAYER ROB PURDHAM. DO YOU THINK THAT THE RULING TO LOWER THE NUMBER OF AUSSIE IMPORTS OVER THE NEXT TWO SEASONS IS THE RIGHT WAY TO GO? I think this is absolutely the right way to go and whilst London have made great strides in recruiting their overseas players they are still now more than double everyone else. Which is almost acceptable when there is no relegation system in place, but it is unfair and undemocratic when the existence of other clubs maybe in doubt if they are relegated.
Year 7 Girls Tag FestivalThe success of "Warrington Wolves Girls Play League" initiative has led six students on a Sports Studies Degree at Chester College, Warrington Campus to hold a tag festival for Year 7 girls, as part of their course. The festival is based on the Wolves initiative to increase the levels of participation of Girls Rugby League within the towns Secondary Schools.The festival will be held on Tuesday 25th March at Padgate Campus, Crab Lane from 4.00-6.00pm. Warrington Wolves Community Development Officer Jane Banks will be overseeing the event.The students organising the festival are:
- Dawn Potter/li>
- Gemma Bailey
- Serena Duffy/li>
- Michele Carter/li>
- Julia Plumb/li>
- Emma Cousins
Brent Grose InterviewPicking up a brace of tries in the first round of Super League, to add to his pre-season haul, new boy Brent Grose is looking forward to the challenges of a new season.BRENT, YOU HAVE ALREADY MADE A BIG IMPACT ON THE FANS HERE. HOW ARE YOU ENJOYING LIFE AT WARRINGTON?Everyone has been great, and really helped me to settle in very quickly. I had heard a lot about English supporters, which was one of the key factors in bringing me over, and I haven't been disappointed. The Warrington fans have been incredibly friendly and supportive, and hopefully I will be able to repay them over the months and years.WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO ENGLAND IN THE FIRST PLACE?I had spent a season with Souths, after moving on from Cronulla, and was their top scorer with nine tries last year. But when the offer came in from Warrington I felt it was too good to turn down. I had always wanted to play in England, if maybe not quite as early as I have, but was keen to come over when I could still offer a lot rather than being at the end of my career.FROM WHAT YOU HAVE SEEN OF THE ENGLISH GAME, HOW DOES IT DIFFER FROM THAT DOWN UNDER?I have to say that the training at Warrington is as good as any I have ever had in my career. There is certainly a lot of talent in Super League and I honestly don't think there is much between the Australian and English competitions. I believe it could be a mental thing as much as anything - they should just go out and play, rather than thinking they are beaten before they do, which could have been the case in previous seasons.
Paul Cullen Rhinos PreviewWHAT DID YOU TAKE FROM THE OPENING ROUND WIN AT HUDDERSFIELD GIANTS?I was delighted with the way we responded to adversity, just as I was in the Cup defeat against Bradford. At Huddersfield we lost Nick Fozzard and Darren Burns, two key impact players, very early on yet were only broken by a kick and chase game. That was a very pleasing aspect. It was crucial for both clubs to take two points from that. Huddersfield were absolutely desperate in the second half and that has now cost them dear with two suspensions. We knew they'd targeted a win against us, considering how we finished last season, so I was delighted to come away with them.LEEDS HAVE MADE A FLYING START TO THE SEASON. HOW DO YOU SEE THEM GOING THIS TIME AROUND?I see them as a very determined outfit - they proved that with their actions in the off season. Sacking six players of great experience, some full and proven internationals, because they were unhappy with last year's finishing position, indicates the ambition of the club. Six of their players were with me in the England Under 21s and have been given their head this year. Mark Calderwood, Matt Diskin, Ryan McGuire, Rob Burrows, Chev Walker and Danny Ward are all outstanding young athletes who are well up to the task.WARRINGTON HAVE A DECENT RECORD AGAINST THE RHINOS. WHAT ARE THE CHANCES OF ANOTHER UPSET AT WILDERSPOOL?It's a game we are ready for at this stage of the season. It's a step up from Huddersfield and a good test. If they are without Chris McKenna, Chev Walker is a very strong replacement. He has proven international ability, and don't forget played the Kiwis for Great Britain, after impressing against them for England last season.THE WOLVES FANS ARE THE NOISIEST IN SUPER LEAGUE. HOW BIG A PART CAN THEY PLAY IN MAKING THE FINAL SEASON AT WILDERSPOOL A SUCCESSFUL ONE? They are a massive asset to us. At no stage at the McAlpine did it feel like an away game for us. The way they stuck with us in defeat at Wigan last year in particular was incredible. All the players and coaching staff have a great respect for them, as the people who pay our wages. And when you spent your childhood years on the terraces as one of them, as I did, I think it does tend to mean a bit more.
North Stand Latest PicturesThe steel work for the Wolves new North Stand at the Winwick Road site is moving along well and is on schedule. The North Stand will be the main seated area for home fans to enjoy the best views of the game. Stadium construction is being carried out BARRs construction, who are also building the Tesco Extra Superstore on the same site.