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2017 Season Preview: Warrington Wolves

Last season’s placing: 1 (Grand Finalists)

Warrington Wolves were undoubtedly one of the best sides in 2016’s Super League and were unfortunate to miss out on a league and cup double after reaching the respective finals of both. Tony Smith’s men possessed possibly the strongest side in the competition which was littered with veterans and starlets alike.

The Wolves did end up with the League Leaders’ Shield after the Super Eights, but the side also finished the campaign with impressive stats – prop Chris Hill was Super League’s top metre maker with 3983m gained, while Ben Currie, still only 22 years of age, scored 17 tries as his game showed ability long beyond his years.

As the spine of the team will hope to start the new campaign in similar fashion, the renowned half-back pairing of Kurt Gidley and Chris Sandow has been broken. The latter returned to Australia before deciding to stay Down Under and has since been replaced by former Widnes stand-off Kevin Brown, who has been set the task of re-forging what was the league’s most impressive attacking pairing.

Key Players

Kurt Gidley – A rugby league veteran in all he does, he was the mastermind of many Wire victories last season. He is sure to continue in similar vein this year.

Ryan Atkins – The Warrington centre was highly influential last campaign and could well be again this season.

Kevin Penny – Since re-joining Warrington in 2014, Penny has had two solid seasons with Tony Smith’s side, establishing himself in the first team. 2017 could provide the winger with a significant try-haul.

Story of 2017

We’ve said it many times before, but 2017 could well be the Wire’s year. Last season was perhaps their best opportunity to lift the Super League trophy, but this time round might be an even better chance. The side have bolstered significantly with additions like the returning Mike Cooper, and have replaced namely absentees such as Chris Sandow.

But the Halliwell Jones also houses some of the best young talent in the competition. Players like 21-year-old Declan Patton, who impressed when appearing alongside Kurt Gidley at half-back, could kick on from a breakthrough season.

Predictions

Ladder: To make the top 8
Top try scorer: Kevin Penny
Top points scorer: Kurt Gidley
Player of the year: Kurt Gidley

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