Smith: A great advert for our sport
Wolves' head of coaching and rugby Tony Smith discusses the importance of the team's recent break and looks ahead to the exciting local contest on Monday night against Wigan Warrior, kick-off 7.45pm.
"It's been a good break for all of us in terms of a chance to freshen up. The players trained last week then had a few days off over the weekend and, after the Exiles match on Friday, the England and Exiles boys had a few days off themselves so we've all come back together early this week. It's a bit like the first day back at school; it's great to see everybody and everybody's excited again. It's been a long turnaround between our two games. The build up, with it being a Monday night game, gave us the chance to do some of those sorts of things and freshen some people up, freshen everybody up really."
And on the team returning to full fitness Tony added: "We're not far off. The only unavailable people for selection this week are: Rhys Evans, he has a little problem with his foot so won't play this week we don't think; Ben Harrison will be next week, he was nearly this week but we are going to give him that extra week; and Chris Bridge should be back if he passes a fitness test (Wednesday) and should be back playing at Swinton this week. We'll then have a clear bill of health finally. I've not been able to say that since the first round of the year. We've had some significant injuries at different stages of the year and have coped with it pretty well."
Everyone is billing Monday's game against Wigan as ‘The One' not to miss and Tony reiterates what an exciting match we have in store.
"It's not quite top of the table; they are but we're not there yet, we're a little bit down the ladder but hopefully we can keep going with the form we've been in the last number of weeks. They are certainly the form team of season so far. They've played really well and deserve to be where they are. We're looking forward to it. We've had some terrific matches with them over the last few of seasons. We look forward to these sorts of intense games; I think they are great adverts for Rugby League and hopefully if the weather stays how it is, with the sun out, a Monday evening at the Halliwell Jones versus Wigan is a fantastic thing to look forward to; both to be here but also to watch on the TV. It's a great advert for our sport."
He is expecting some great match-ups right across the park come Monday night.
"There are some terrific players in both teams right across the board; some of the young guys coming through from both teams and it's great to watch the experienced players too. I think it's an interesting game as well with a bit of a contrast in style from each of the teams which is interesting in itself I think; we play a little bit more off the cuff rather than a structure but they play the structure and play it very well. But within that structure you've got Sam Tomkins who can throw caution to the wind and do some things that not many people in Rugby League can do. He is fantastic to watch but hopefully we can keep him a bit quieter on Monday."
Tony and the players are looking forward to walking out to a packed house at The Halliwell Jones Stadium.
"They (the fans) are terrific here. They always make a great atmosphere, get behind their team and support their team through thick and thin. They are great like that. They help create the atmosphere that the players like to play in but also the attitude the players like to play with, they help us get them in that mood. They are fantastic and I'm sure they'll pack it out on Monday night. It's a great opportunity to see a fantastic game of Rugby League."
Match tickets still on sale from WolfWare Online with adults from just £19 and £13 for kids, call into the WolfWare shop (Open Mon-Sat, 9am to 5pm) at the stadium or call the ticket office on 08448 11 11 76 (Open Mon-Fri, 9am to 5pm)
21, Jun, 2013