Wolves Westminster VisitWarrington Wolves, Chief Executive Andy Gatcliffe was invited to the House of Commons this week to present an update of the Club's new stadium development and their work in the community. Warrington's Community Development team have retained the Best Community Award Programme in Super League for the 3rd year in a row.Andy Gatcliffe commented, "It was an honour for myself, the Club and also for the Borough of Warrington to be invited to attend the All Parliamentary Rugby League Group meeting. To be given the opportunity to update both MPs and Peers on the success of the Clubs work especially in regard to the wide ranging Community programme undertaken really does raise the profile of Warrington Wolves on a national basis As we already know, this Club is the envy of many other Clubs for the community work and the fact that Warrington Wolves have the BEST FANS IN SUPER LEAGUE!!!"
BurnsFromer Brisbane Bronco Darren Burns talks about his versatility on the pitch and the changes at the club in the last season.PRIMARILY A BACK ROW FORWARD HOW DID THE LAST MINUTE SWITCH AGAINST WIGAN TO A HALFBACK POSITION EFFECT YOU?I didn't effect me it effected the team more than it did me. The combination of Briersy and Natty Wood has been working really well over the last couple of games, but me coming in was hardly an ideal situation, but one that had to be put in place at the last moment. It was a new position for me, as I had not played there before. I didn't play like a true scrum half I was doing my nine drives that a scrum half doesn't do and I had to feed the scrum as well which I never done before. Also playing in the scrum half position I played more on the left-hand side, while I am normally in the right channel. I actually prefer the left channel, but my game at Warrington has been in the right.DARREN NOW IN YOUR SECOND SEASON WITH THE WOLVES YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED A GREAT DEAL OF CHANGES OFF THE FIELD AND ON THE FIELD (POSITION WISE) IN SUCH A SHORT TIME, HOW DIFFCULT HAS IT BEEN TO FOCUS ON YOUR GAME?It was a distracting season last year with three coaches, not an idea situation to concentrate on your rugby. Difficult to have continuity. We also had a lot of players coming and going, like Dale Cardoza, Matty Rodwell, Kevin Crouthers (then coming back) and coming in on a permanent basis Ben Westwood and Nat Wood half way through the season. Then we had a lot of temps as well Richie Mathers and Michael Watts to name a few. It wasn't good for team spirit; it wasn't a settled environment. Each coach was looking elsewhere for the right combination.The effect of fighting for relegation was another thing to consider. With all those distractions it did make settling in very difficult to do. But when you get on the field, you just do the job in hand, which is doing the skills of rugby league to the best of your ability and to avoid relegation. I think the relegation battle was the most difficult thing for me to come to terms with, as we don't have that in Australia and the pressure on the team and the individual was immense. Something I hadn't experienced before. When we beat Castleford at home to stay up it was like an amazing weight had been lifted off my shoulders.WHAT ARE YOUR AIMS FOR THIS SEASON ARE YOU LOOKING TO EXTEND YOUR STAY IN BRITISH RUGBY LEAGUE, WITH WARRINGTON?My aims for this season are to finish in the top 6. After experiencing a season like last year, to even contemplate a top 6 position, many people would lock you up and suggest you have your head read. But, under Paul Cullen I reckon that it is possible, it is within our grasp. Our first priority though is to win as many games as we can to avoid the relegation battle at the end of the season. But, with the way we have played so far, they are no reason why we shouldn't go for middle table. This reality has been enhanced by our performances to date.At this stage I don't really know if I will stay in England next season, I will see how the season pans out. I can't really envisage me playing for another club. But, I intend to keep my options open. If I am still enjoying my rugby league and still enjoying Warrington come the end of the season, then it will definitely be an option. The new stadium is a good prospect for Warrington and it is something to look forward to. If this season turns out like last season then I don't think I would come back.
Cullens CommentLAST WEEKEND'S GAME AGAINST WIGAN WAS ONE OF THE CLOSEST CONTESTED GAMES IN WARRINGTON'' SEASON, WHAT HAVE YOU TAKEN FROM THE GAME?Confidence in that are defence structures can hold and finish against one of the top sides in the competition. We were only broken once in our running play in 80 minutes, which is some feat when you are defending against Wigan at the JJB. The other major plus is the way we responded when 18-12 down, to withstand enormous pressure from Wigan to create an 18-20 lead going into the final few minutes.THIS WEEK'S GAME HAS BEEN PITTED AS A FORERUNNER TO THE ORIGIN, WITH YOU FACING YOUR YORKSHIRE RIVAL GRAHAM STEADMAN.GOING BACK A COUPLE OF YEARS YOU PLAYED AGAINST GRAHAM, HOW DID YOU FIND HIM AS AN OPPONENT THEN AND DOES IT ADD ANY PRESSURE TO YOUR RIVARLY GOING INTO TODAY'S GAME AND LOOKING AHEAD TO THE ORIGIN?I don't see this as an Origin trial; I see it as a genuine test for which one of us will finish in the Top 6. Graham himself epitomized the classy Cas tag that has long been the wholemark of that club. He was a smart, fast athlete and one that you could not allow to play.IN THE PRESS THIS WEEK THERE HAS BEEN A LOT OF OVERSEAS PLAYER'S LINKED WITH BRITISH CLUBS FOR NEXT SEASON. ARE YOU STARTING TO LOOK AHEAD TO THE FORMATION OF YOUR TEAM FOR 2004, CONSIDERING WE HAVE A NUMBER OF PLAYERS OUT OF CONTRACT AT THE END OF THIS SEASON?We currently have the vast amount of our players playing for contracts for next season, an energy that is working well for us. It would be wrong at this moment to speculate who may be coming and who maybe going.THE OVERSEAS QUOTA IS REDUCED BY ONE NEXT SEASON, WILL THAT CAUSE PROBLEMS CONSIDERING WE HAVE 5 ON OUR BOOKS AT PRESENT?The simple fact of life is, the five go to four regardless of form, which simply intensifies the need to produce the required performance.
Eat and Move 2 B FitWarrington Wolves and The North Cheshire Hospital's Department of Nutrition and Dietetics have joined forces to hold a one-day Fun Health Event, as follows:Wednesday 4th JuneWilderspool Stadium10.30am - 3.30pmAges 5-11 yearsThe day will be an opportunity to provide children, parents and teachers with Healthy Eating and physical activity advice and will offer the chance for children to participate in Rugby, Dance and Drama workshops, fun food tasting activities and an Eat 2 B Fit computer workshop. Please note that places will be limited and sessions must be reservedA Parent or Guardian will be required to sign children in and those children who wish to stay for the whole day will need to bring a packed lunch.For further information and to register, please contact Debbie Blackburn at the Club offices on 01925 635338.
Major Makes Wolves DebutThe new Mayor of Warrington, Councillor Pauline Nelson, performs her first official engagement at Wilderspool Stadium this Saturday before the Wolves versus Castleford fixture.She is launching a new community initiative The Philip Williams/Sportsmatch Outreach Programme.Long-term Wolves supporters and corporate partners, Philip Williams Insurance Management, based in Stockton Heath, have made a substantial financial commitment to grass roots Rugby League. This sponsorship has enabled a successful application for Government funding through Sportsmatch and an opportunity for the Wolves to further develop their Award-Winning activities within the Community.The success of the Wolves Primary Link Programme in delivering Rugby League Coaching into the town's primary schools and providing links to the local amateur clubs, has been phenomenal.More children than ever before are currently enjoying the sport and over 700 youngsters are registered with Junior Clubs in Warrington. Particularly encouraging for Wolves fans is the knowledge that this current boom, allied to the excellence of the Club's Development Scheme, has recently contributed to the selection of 12 Wolves Scholarship Players for National Camp a larger number than any other Super League Club.As Wolves Community & Marketing Manager, Sean Mellor, states, "We are delighted to welcome Philip Williams as a community sponsor. This funding will enable us to run the Outreach Programme and extend the successful formula of Primary Link into the outlying areas of the town. The recently formed Junior Rugby League Clubs within these areas Burtonwood Bulldogs, Culcheth Eagles, Bank Quay Bulls and Grappenhall Giants will benefit from the Wolves coaching in their local schools and the formation of clear club-school pathways for continued participation".
Briers on a HighLee Briers is celebrating after passing the 500 goal mark in his career in Friday nightÆs narrow defeat at Wigan and on the birth of his son on Sunday night. LeeÆs partner Vicky gave birth to their second child (a brother for Sophie, 4) who weighed in at 8lb 4oz. They are yet to settle on a name for the new edition.Lee commented, "I was disappointed at the final score on Friday night, the guys put their bodies on the line and deserved a win. But, we have not come away from the JJB feeling down; we will focus on this weekendÆs game against Castleford and work on our game in training this week. It is an achievement to reach 500 at one club and I am aiming to double that during my career. IÆm on a high at the moment with the birth of my son, mother and baby are doing well."His total of 502 includes 37-drop goals and has come in 172 matches. Briers is the joint holder of the Warrington goals in a match record with 14 in an 84-1 Silk Cut Challenge Cup fifth round home defeat of York on 27 February 2000. He also scored three tries for a club record 40 points.
Wainwright Makes Opta TeamMike Wainwright returned to the Warrington fold and is going great guns with performances that have earned him a place in the Opta team of the week.YOU HAVE SETTLED IN WELL ON YOUR RETURN TO THE CLUB. HOW HARD WAS THE TRANSITION BACK TO YOUR OLD CLUB?I've settled in really well, even though there was only a few players that I knew from last time Lee Briers, Lee Penny, Mark Hilton and Warren Stevens. The pre-season Lanzarote trip was a good idea as that week we were away was a good time to get to know everyone quite well.It was an important step in my career to come back to my home town club and make an impact, I had had offers from other clubs at the end of my time with Salford, but Warrington held the biggest appeal for me.It was difficult being sidelined for the friendlies, I was itching to get started and to sit back and watch was really difficult.DO YOU FEEL THAT YOU HAVE A POINT TO PROVE THIS TIME ROUND AT WARRINGTON?I think that you have a point to prove all the time to yourself and to the coaches that pick you week in, week out. I set out each week with the intention of proving myself worthy of a place in the first 13, this starts from the training during the week right through to the game day. It's important to be in the right frame of mind and plan the game. Been named Opta Player of the Week is a big boost for my game and it reassures me that I am doing something right on the field.HOW DIFFICULT WAS IT BEING AT SALFORD WHEN THEY WERE RELEGATED AT THE END OF LAST SEASON?It was quite difficult to deal with, team spirit and morale was still very high despite the low times that we hit at the end of the season. It was hard to see the fans disheartened by what had occurred. I certainly wouldn't like to experience those feelings again; I wouldn=92t want to be in the relegation battle again.WHAT ARE YOUR AIMS FOR THE LAST SEASON AT WILDERSPOOL?To get a piece of turf from Wilderspool on the last game! Seriously, to play consistently to a high standard and gain a new contract with the Wolves.
Cullens CommentCONGRATULATIONS ON BEING SELECTED AS THE HEAD COACH FOR THE LANCASHIRE ORIGIN SIDE. HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS ROLE TO YOU?It's a great honour and a progression from the work that I started when I went to Whitehaven, to come from that environment and to work with the quality of coaches and players in the last year's Origin gave me great confidence to progress with my ideas. The role was really enjoyable and the learning curve was massive. It was beneficial for my role at Warrington, because of the work you have to do, studying other clubs and their players.TURNING THE ATTENTION BACK TO FRIDAY NIGHT=92S WIN AGAINST HALIFAX, ANOTHER TARGET REACHED, DID THE WIN GO AS PLANNED?It did for most and the performance encourages us all to continue the work that we have started. There is still great scope for improvement and although we were disappointed to concede 9 penalties we were pleased with the way we managed ourselves on the result of our defensive sets.WIGAN THIS WEEK, THERE IS SPECULATION THAT ANDY FARRELL RETURNS TO THEIR SIDE FOR THIS GAME, BRINGING MATURITY TO THE SIDE. HOW DO YOU RATE THE YOUNGSTERS THAT WIGAN HAS BEEN SELECTING THIS SEASON?Very highly, I have already worked with most on the England A tour to Fiji and Tonga last season and was then greatly impressed by their professionalism. I have no doubt they will be senior international players in the not too distant future.THERE HAS BEEN A LOT OF CRITICISM OVER REFEREES AGAIN THIS WEEK. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE STANDARD OF REFEREEING AT SUPER LEAGUE? IS THE CRITICISM FAIR?Respect for the officials should be and has to be unconditional. I'm pleased with the way that the Warrington players have responded, when decisions have not gone our way. We have learnt the lessons from earlier this season.WARRINGTON'S FANBASE CONTINUES TO GROW AT AWAY MATCHES, APPARENTLY THEY MADE UP MORE THAN HALF THE GATE AT HALIFAX LAST WEEKEND.Their support was visual and audible and the players responded to it.
Matchday Mascots RequestsAll mascot vacancies for home games and away club permitting games have been filled for the Tetley's Super League VIII season. The response to the vacancies has been overwhelming and every attempt has been made to accommodate these requests.Requests that I have not been able to accommodate this season will go on a waiting list for Super League IX, priority goes to those who have not been selected as a mascot before. All applications must be Wolfpack members.Those wishing to book in next season can do so by writing or emailing me, please bare in mind that fixture lists will not be released until December, but if there is a particular game, i.e Widnes please state and I will endeavour to book that game for you:Gina ColdrickMedia and PR OfficerWarrington Wolves RLFCWilderspool StadiumFletcher StreetWarringtonWA4 6PY<Media@warringtonwolves.com
Board Praises FansFollowing the Club's Board Meeting this morning, the Board of Directors would like to thank each and every fan for giving their loyal and enthusiastic support (and very vocal it was!) to the team at Halifax on Friday evening.Did you know that the Wolves travelling fans accounted for half of the total gate at Halifax, with magnificent 1500 Wolves fans supporting the team.The Board of Directors asks that the fans repeat this support for this Friday's game at Wigan. The Barmy Army and the club's fans really do spur on the team on the field and the players all state that the 'vocal support' really lifts them.