By George Newell

In more than 570 games as player or Head Coach, there is very little Daryl Powell has not done in rugby league.

However, when he sat down on Thursday for his first press conference as Head Coach of Warrington Wolves there was a real sense of new beginnings.

The former England international has represented an array of clubs in his 37 years in the game including Sheffield Eagles, Leeds Rhinos, and Castleford Tigers.

But never before has he represented a team from west of the Pennines. Until now.

The relationship between Powell’s home county of Yorkshire and neighbouring Lancashire is a fractured one at best.

But the former Tigers man dismissed the suggestion this would cause problems.

In fact, when talking to Wolves media, Powell even joked about how he would consider bringing his Yorkshire flag over with him, before going on to say how welcoming the people of Warrington have been.

The former Keighley Cougars man already seemed in touch with his new fan base.

And this unity is essential if he is to end The Wire’s 67-year wait for a Super League title.

Warrington impressed at times last year, finishing third in the league with only league leaders Catalan Dragons scoring more points than them.

However, a 0-19 defeat at the Halliwell Jones courtesy of Hull KR meant they were knocked out in the elimination play-offs for the third year in a row.

The Wire did lift the Challenge Cup in 2019, under former Head Coach Steve Price, after an 18-4 victory over St. Helens.

But since then, their local rivals have gone on to win three consecutive Grand Finals while Warrington have plateaued.

There is no doubting their consistency in the regular season, but they have suffered from a lack of cutting edge in the all-important play-offs.

That being said, there are few better people in the game to inject a winning mentality than Powell.

Powell was introduced to 5,000 Warrington fans at their 2022 kit launch. (Image courtesy of Warrington Wolves)

The 56-year-old was influential in the birth of Rhinos’ golden generation giving debuts to the likes of Danny McGuire and Rob Burrow, as well as bestowing the captaincy on a 22-year-old Kevin Sinfield.

From there, Powell assisted Kelly in getting Ireland to their first ever European Nations Cup final.

He went on to take charge of Featherstone Rovers where he famously guided them to a Challenge Cup victory over league-above Castleford.

It would be Castleford that he took charge of next, winning coach of the year in 2014 and then going on to win the Tigers’ first ever League Leaders’ Shield – by a record margin.

Over his 439-game coaching career he boasts an impressive 64%-win rate.

And his array of experiences, whether as Great British Lion stand-off or a Keighley Cougars player/coach, make him an excellent choice to take The Wire to the next level.

(Featured image courtesy of Warrington Wolves)

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here