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.
Wood Looks GoodPaul Wood, who made the Opta team of the week, talks about his rise through the ranks at the club and what makes him tick.CONGRATULATIONS ON THE GAME AGAINST WIDNES LAST WEEK, WHICH EARNED YOU A PLACE IN THE OPTA TEAM OF THE WEEK. HOW IMPORTANT IS ACCOLADES LIKE THAT TO YOU?It's nice to be there, but I don't really think about it, the most important thing to me is to concentrate on my game, if those things come it's a bonus! YOU HAVE PROGRESSED THROUGH THE RANKS AT WARRINGTON AND HAVE BECOME A REGULAR IN THE 17. WHAT HAS MADE YOU STAY WITH WARRINGTON (THERE WHERE RUMOURS CONNECTING YOU WITH WIGAN LAST YEAR)?I decided to stay with the Wolves because it's a great club, we have a great coach and there's definitely a good future for us. At the moment, we are only a young team at the moment, with experience and good coaching I think that we will become a good side regularly contending for a fifth/sixth spot or even higher. There is still improvement to be made and we are working on it each week and I want to be part of the set up at the Wolves. YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED A LOT OF CHANGES SINCE JOINING WARRINGTON IN 1999, WHAT POSITIVES HAVE YOU TAKEN FROM THESE CHANGES?The one constant for me since signing with the club is Paul Darbyshire, Assistant Coach he has taught me a lot in the Academy and has brought me through to the first team. He has taken a lot of the bad away from my game and made me a better player. Darby has made me realise that to succeed in this game you have to remain positive and focussed no matter what is going on around you on and off the field. That advice has helped me a lot over the last couple of seasons, when things have been tough here.Paul Cullen has been another positive for me at the club, in particular when he was my Alliance Coach in 2000, I have a lot of praise for him he is very smart with his coaching which has helped me with my direction. Playerwise it was really awe-inspiring to play alongside Alfie (Allan Langer), I learnt a lot from him and to work with the best at such a young age was amazing. WHAT ARE YOUR AIMS FOR THIS SEASON?My main aim is to gain another contract at Warrington and to make the starting 13; anything else is a bonus! I'm not thinking international at the moment; it was good to train with England 'A' under Kear/Cullen last year. But my main concern is to concentrate on my club game, if I play well at that level then selection for national/international level will come as a result of that.
Team News Round 9Paul Cullen has selected a 19 man squad to travel to The Shay on Friday 9th May 2003, kick off 7.45pm.1. Lee Penny2. Rob Smyth3. Brent Grose12. Ian Sibbit5. Graham Appo6. Lee Briers (C) 7. Nat Wood8. Nick Fozzard9. Jon Clarke10. Mark Hilton11. Darren Burns23. Mike Wainwright13. Sid Domic18. Paul Noone16. Paul Wood17. Warren Stevens14. Mark Gleeson returns from a knee injury his last game was Rnd 4 v Hull FC (30.03.03) 21. Matt Sturm19. Gary Hulse15. Jerome Guisset is on international duty with France in Russia playing in the Victory CupMILESTONES Lee Penny needs two tries for a club career century of touchdowns. The full back's total of 98 tries have come in 266 matches. He recently scored his 100th try in all matches, having scored one each for Scotland and Great Britain Under-21s. Penny has scored four tries in a match for Warrington twice and one other hat-trick. A former Orrell St. James amateur player, Penny made his debut on 13 October 1992 when he scored a try in the 32-8 Regal Trophy first round home defeat of Blackpool Gladiators.
Cullens CommentTHE PRESS ARE PLAYING UP 'THE TOP SIX' ANGLE AFTER LAST WEEK'S WIN AGAINST WIDNES. DO YOU THINK THAT IT IS TOO SOON TO DISCUSS THIS CONSIDERING WE ARE ONLY ENTERING ROUND 9 OF A 28 ROUND COMPETITION?I'm very aware of the pressures that build on coaches and players a like, when you are continually in that bottom four slot as this club found out last year that the psychological damage that you incur when you are in that situation. It can have a disastrous effect on your form as you prepare for must win games. Our goal is simply to avoid that pressure in the early part of this season. There are a number of games to come yet before we raise our sites to that Top 6 challenge.WINNING AGAINST WIDNES LAID SOME GREMLINS TO REST I.E. THE FIRST WIN OVER WIDNES IN SUPER LEAGUE. WAS IT A SATISFYING WIN?The only satisfactions were two points in the bank, with a reduction in the point's deficit and no serious injuries. As a coach it is best to leave emotions to the supporters. THIS WEEK'S OPPOSITION HALIFAX'S FINANCIAL AND PLAYING DIFFICULTIES HAVE BEEN WELL-DOCUMENTED AND AT PRESENT THEY ARE ROOTED TO THE BOTTOM OF THE TABLE. DOES THIS INFLUENCE YOUR PREPARATION?You always have to be wary of desperate sides, Halifax like Wakefield have become accustomed to fighting for their lives if any of our players are dishonest in their preparation they will be found out and punished. Halifax are waiting for someone to take their eye off the ball and we have to make sure that it's not us.
Cullens CommentLooking forward to this weekends battle with close neighbours Widnes Vikings Coach Paul Cullen tells it like it is.MANY FANS RECKON THE BATTLE FOR THE SIXTH PLAY-OFF POSITION IS BETWEEN WARRINGTON AND WIDNES. HOW DO YOU SEE IT?At some stage you have to lift your head up and see how far you might get as a club and I see this game as the fight for the middle order. Realistically you have the top four and our general fight is for the places between five and 12. I think both Widnes and ourselves have got six well-earned points - we are a club on the rebuild and have taken what we deserve from matches so far this season.ARGUABLY THE BEST PERFORMANCE CAME IN THE LAST HOUR AT BRADFORD, AFTER BEING OVER-RUN IN THE EARLY STAGES. HOW DO YOU BELIEVE THE TEAM IS PROGRESSING?That Bradford match could have been a defining moment in our season. We had no ball in the first 15 minutes, they ran away from us and the only call was for the players to hold their nerve. You have to take something from every defeat, but it was easy to take a lot from that one. It was a similar story at St Helens. Not many teams would have competed with them in that form and at one stage our whole season could have run away from us. But we fought back manfully, losing 12 points in the last two minutes was very cruel, and we could take a lot from that as well.THERE DOES SEEM TO BE A BETTER SPIRIT AT THE CLUB THIS YEAR. HAVE YOU NOTICED A DIFFERENCE IN ATTITUDE SINCE YOU TOOK OVER?When I arrived the club was in a downward spiral, but that is definitely not the case now. There is a progressive atmosphere here, and hopefully we can keep it going in our next matches, against Widnes and Halifax, which are must-win games.LEE BRIERS IS BACK IN THE SIDE THIS WEEK. HOW MUCH OF A BONUS IS THAT FOR THE WOLVES?Having Lee available adds to the confidence right through the week, not just on match day. His ability as a big game player and a matchwinner is well known, as he showed against Wakefield when he wasn't fully fit. He played a vital part in getting two points for us, and is a crucial part of the side.
Briers is Back!After a shoulder (Versus London) then a shin injury (Versus Wakefield) the Wolves Club Captain is back and is raring to go in this weekends tough "must win" encounter with the Vikings.IT'S BEEN A STOP-START SEASON FOR YOU SO FAR. HOW FRUSTRATING HAS IT BEEN TO HAVE TO SIT ON THE SIDELINES?I'm not a good watcher, so it has been very frustrating. I did my shoulder after about 10 minutes of the London game, and the ankle went in the first tackle I made against Wakefield. The adrenaline gets you through the match itself, but it has been hard not being able to help in the games I've had to sit out.THERE DOES SEEM TO BE A GREATER TEAM SPIRIT AT THE CLUB THIS YEAR. IS THAT THE CASE?Last season was tough under the other blokes, but there is no doubt now that everyone wants to play for the club. Cul brought a lot of passion with him, he's Warrington through and through, and that's rubbed off on everyone. Last year I think it got to the stage where people were not enjoying it, but it's the exact opposite now.CHASING THE PLAY-OFFS RATHER THAN FIGHTING RELEGATION MUST HELP AS WELL, SURELY?It is too early to say where we will end up, but we have played together for a while now and that in itself breeds confidence. None of us want to go through what we suffered last season, especially with it being the final year at Wilderspool before we move to the new stadium. There have been signs that, while in previous years we may have given up against Saints and Bradford, at least there is a lot of character and spirit in the side.THE AUSSIES ARE OVER AT THE END OF THE SEASON. IS A GREAT BRITAIN SLOT ON YOUR MIND AS WELL?I would be lying if I said I wasn't thinking about it. But first and foremost I need to be playing well for Warrington. The way I see things, if you are doing well for your club and they are winning, then the rest will just follow suit naturally. Hopefully that will be the case with Great Britain this season.
Team News - Round 8Paul Cullen has named a 22-man squad to face the Widnes Vikings this Saturday evening for the first local derby between the clubs of the season.1. Lee Penny2. Rob Smyth12. Ian Sibbit returns from ankle injury, last game Round 6 v Wakefield (18.04.03)3. Brent Grose5. Graham Appo6. Lee Briers (c) returns from a shoulder/ankle injury, last game Round 6 v Wakefield7. Nat Wood8. Nick Fozzard9. Jon Clarke10. Mark Hilton15. Jerome Guisset23. Mike Wainwright11. Darren Burns17. Warren Stevens16. Paul Wood21. Matt Sturm18. Paul Noone13. Sid Domic returns from broken thumb sustained in Round 5 v Bradford (06.04.03)14. Mark Gleeson returns from knee injury sustained in Round 4 v Hull F.C (30.03.03)19. Gary Hulse25. Richard Varkulis, 20 centre, former club Leigh Miners ARLFC, signed to the U21s this season and has scored 11 tries in 8 games.INJURIES: Ben Westwood (broken leg) sustained in Round 5 v Bradford Bulls (06.04.03). 24. Kevin Crouthers (hamstring) sustained in Round 7 v St. Helens (21.04.03)MILESTONES: Lee Penny scored his 100th career try. He has scored 98 for Warrington, 1 Scotland and 1 Great Britain Under-21s.
Wolfie Challenges The Moose!Wolfie and the Moose participated in1km training run earlier this week through Warrington Town Centre, which suspiciously ended in a draw, setting up the Challenge for Sunday morning's contest.Also participating in the run for charity are Wolves staff members: Commercial Manager Julie Cleave, Community Development Officer Jane Banks and Media and PR Officer Gina Coldrick.