WARRINGTON Wolves have been the competition’s major under-achievers for many years, and this season is no exception.
On paper, the men from the Halliwell Jones have a squad more than capable of matching any in Super League, but they find themselves languishing at the wrong end of the table.
Despite boasting a side littered with experienced internationals, including Great Britain prop Adrian Morley, England hooker Mickey Higham, inspirational scrum half Michael Monaghan, Australian Kangaroos Test centre Matt King and influential Welsh half-back Lee Briers, they continue to flatter to deceive.
Just three wins have been secured from their opening 10 fixtures and within a month head coach James Lowes had been replaced by England boss Tony Smith, although he remains on the club’s coaching staff.
But Warrington head into Sunday’s home test against the Giants on the back of a much-needed 58-22 triumph at struggling Bradford Bulls a week ago, and the Wolves will clearly be hoping that’s a sign of things to come.
MICKEY HIGHAM was one of two major signings for Super League XIV – Hull prop Garreth Carvell is the other – and the hooker brings international quality to the Wolves, as well as offering speed and direction from dummy half.
A former Leigh and St Helens No9, Higham has spent the last three seasons at Wigan and Warrington moved rapidly when the Warriors announced they wouldn’t be offering him a new contract.
Higham was selected for Great Britain during the 2004 and 2005 Gillette Tri-Nations tournaments and was then a key part of the England World Cup squad in Australia last autumn.
A VERY familiar face is now at the helm at Warrington Wolves in former Giants coach Tony Smith.
James Lowes had started the season in charge at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, but within a month had paid the price for a disastrous start to the year and stepped down to the assistant role to allow the experienced Smith to take over.
Besides being the head coach of Warrington, Smith will continue as England boss on a part-time basis.
WOLVES@ Riley, Mathers, Hicks, Bridge, King, Johnson, Briers, Monaghan, Morley, Clarke, Carvell, L Anderson, Westwood, Harrison, V Anderson, Higham, Wood, Pickersgill, Cooper,
GIANTS@ B Hodgson, Aspinwall, Brown, Whatuira, D Hodgson, Robinson, Crabtree, Faiumu, Griffin, Lolesi, Wild, Finnigan, Jackson, Mason, Kirmond, Lawrence, Moore, Cudjoe, Lunt, Patrick.
REFEREE@ Phil Bentham