Young Trio Commit To Wolves
Back rowers James Laithwaite and Ben Currie, and centre James Saltonstall have all agreed new deals showing their ongoing commitment to the Wolves.
The club is delighted to announce that Ben has secured a five-year contract keeping him at the Wolves until November 2017. James Saltonstall has agreed a four-year deal until November 2016 and James Laithwaite a three-year deal until November 2015.
Young back-rower James Laithwaite has impressed in the academy ranks for a number of years as part of the successful under 20s team winning the Valvoline Cup Grand Final this year. He has trained well alongside the first team squad since being part of the first group of players to be promoted in 2010. He also represented England u18s in the series against Australian Schoolboys in 2010 winning man of the match in the first game. Following recent dual registration and loan spells with Leigh and Super League side Hull KR James has benefited from regular playing experience at levels above the academy, developing and maturing as a player for the future.
Fellow back rower Ben Currie joined the Wolves from Golborne Parkside back in 2010 at the age of 16, and since then he has excelled with his on-field performances. Following regular appearances for the under 20 academy in his first year at the club Ben then made the step-up into the first team training squad ahead of the 2012 season. He made his first-team debut at The Halliwell Jones Stadium back in April this year against local rivals Widnes Vikings and went on to make a further five first-team appearances crossing for his first Super League try against Salford.
2012 has also seen Ben continue to play his part in the successful under 20s side that finished top of the table and lifted the Valvoline Cup following their Grand Final victory in September. In addition this year's international scene has seen Ben come to the fore. He took part in the England Academy Tour of Australia during mid-season named as vice captain for the side. He was also recently selected to play for the England Knights in their win over Scotland.
Centre James Saltonstall, 19, began his career at Siddal before joining the Wolves' academy set-up in 2010, making a move to the first-team training squad at the end of 2011. Like Ben, he has developed within the under 20s side named in the starting 13 of the Valvoline Cup winning team earlier this year.
James is another player to watch out for in the future with several international call-ups already to his name. He was selected as part of the England Academy squad that played France earlier this year and, alongside Ben Currie and Gavin Bennion, he was one of the three Wolves youngsters to take part in the Academy tour of Australia scoring tries in several of the games.
Tony Smith, head of coaching and rugby, said: "I'm really excited for all three players. James (Laithwaite) has already experienced Super League on loan at Hull KR and Ben's also had a taste of first grade with us. I expect that James (Saltonstall) won't be too far behind with the rate he's progressing. We're really excited about them not only because of their potential but also their attitude. They're exciting young players and I‘ve got no doubt that they will go on to be favourites at Warrington in the near future.
"This is all part of our progression as a club; to produce highly talented young players as well as bringing in the occasional player from outside. We certainly see the benefits of producing young players internally and have committed a lot of resources to this which shone out in the under 20s victory this year. Along with these three players we've got many other young talents who will no doubt feature in the near future.
"All three have been in our full time squad for a while now and have seen the benefits of training alongside the first team. They now see themselves as first team players of the near future. It's great that they see this club is moving forward and it's a place that they want to nurture their future."
With the club continuing to build for the future by developing and bringing the young talent through there has been no better time to join the Wolves' family.
2013 Season Tickets are on sale now at money-saving Early Bird rates. Buy yours today at WolfWare Online, in-store at WolfWare or by calling the ticket office on 08448 11 11 76 (9am-5pm, Monday to Friday)
Click here for all the details and prices.
"It's great for me to play for my home-town club. I was brought up here, played amateur here and so to now hopefully get my chance in the first team next year means everything.
"There's quite a lot of Australians in the game now so for Warrington to be bringing so many young lads through and hopefully integrating them into the first team next year it's nothing but good for the game.
"It was a big experience playing on loan for Hull KR as it showed me I can handle Super League and I feel like I could now do a job at Warrington. Before that I didn't have any experience but felt I handled it quite well so hopefully that will now help me kick on.
"Training with the first team every day does help with your pathway through the game. We finished just short this year so hopefully I get the chance to contribute and we can go one step further next year."
"It's great to have signed for so long as it shows the club has faith in me and they expect me to do well which hopefully, over the next five years, I will do. It's good that they are looking at us young players to be the future of the club, they must have a lot confidence in us all and hopefully it will turn out well.
"Even just training with the first team players helps you to pick things up from them and they pass down a lot of knowledge. I think Tony's a great coach and I like playing under him. I played six first-team games this year so I'll now be trying to get a regular spot and get in the team more. And you never know, try and win a trophy with the first team!"
"It's great to have secured a few more years at the club, hopefully I can move forward, get a few first team games and make my mark next season. It's good to know that a club like Warrington are interested in keeping me and want to help me progress. The coaching staff here have all been a great help to me along with John Bastian, head of youth, who helped with the move to Warrington from the start.
"Training alongside quality first-team players and getting a good level of coaching every day has certainly helped and improved me as a player. It was also great going over to Australia for the tour this year; it was a good experience to play against the best players over there and it can only be good for my future as a player."
07, Nov, 2012