After an impressive first season under Steve Price, the Warrington Wolves finished 4th and reached both finals. But how are they shaping up for 2019? Here’s everything you need to know about the Wire!
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Blake Austin (Canberra Raiders), Jake Mamo (Huddersfield Giants), Jason Clark (South Sydney Rabithos), Danny Walker (Widnes Vikings), Matt Davis (London Broncos), Lama Ta’si (Salford Red Devils).
Morgan Smith (London Broncos), Ben Pomeroy (Catalan Dragons), Tyrone Roberts (Gold Coast Titans), George King (Wakefield Trinity), Mitch Brown (Released), Bodene Thompson (Toronto Wolfpack), Dom Crosby (Leeds Rhinos), Taylor Prell (Released).
Leeds Rhinos (H), Hull KR (H), Huddersfield Giants (A), Catalan Dragons (A), Castleford Tigers (H)
WHAT TO EXPECT
2018 was an “almost” season for the Wolves. They made the Challenge Cup Final and the Grand Final, however, lost both times to Catalan 20-14 and Wigan 12-4 respectfully. Following on from signing of try-scoring machine Josh Charnley mid-season last year, the primrose and blue went on a 13 game unbeaten streak and looked back to their dominating best. With six new signings making the Halliwell Jones their new home, Steve Price will be looking to build on the impressive first season, and for the Wire faithful to actually make 2019 their year.
Fan favourite, Ben Westwood will be ready to start his 17th season as a Wire player after re-signing on a one-year deal back in October. After playing his 400th Super League game last season, the 37-year old will be look to continue his impressive end of his career.
However, the pressure is going to be on new marquee signing, Blake Austin. The 27-year-old halfback has signed on a three year deal with the Wolves. Will he add the final piece of the Grand Final puzzle for the Wire?
Steve Price, however, has said that Austin will only get better after his first game in Ryan Atkins Testimonial.
“He’s going to be fantastic for us. From day one all the boys have loved playing with him and what he’s brought to the club. He’s only going to get better.
“It will take a little bit of time for him but I thought he showed some really promising signs out there today as well as the other new recruits.”
Austin said this when he was announced in 2018, “I’m really excited to be joining the Warrington Wolves. No-one I’ve spoken to has had a bad word to say about the club. I’m stoked I get the chance to come over in what I believe can be the best years of my footy career, and not a cameo at the tail end of my career.
“My partner and I have always wanted to experience England and the Super League, and can’t wait to embrace the Wolves and everything Warrington has to offer.”
As well as new Signing Blake Austin, they have also signed Jason Clark from South Sydney, who will bring a extra dynamic to the strong pack, and Jake Mamo from Huddersfield Giants, who has already given Wire fans a taste of what he can do after an impressive hat-trick against Widnes in the 38-12 win. They have also added youth in Danny Walker from Widnes. The 19 year old will be looking to work with former Man of Steel winner Daryl Clark who signed on a three year deal; the former Viking will hope he can become the next hometown hero. Finally, they have added Lama Tasi and Matt Davis, who will both look to get as much game time as they can within the competitive battle for a spot in the Match day squad.
Steve Price’s men begin with a potentially tough start. Starting with the eight-time Grand Final winners Leeds Rhinos for the third time in four seasons. Then fixtures against Hull KR (H), Huddersfield (A), Catalan Dragons (A), Castleford (H) and Wigan (H) before the middle of March. The Wolves should be able to win all of these games and, if they do, 2019 could well be the year of the Wire!
Top Tryscorer – Josh Charnley
Top Pointscorer – Blake Austin
Club Player of the Year – Blake Austin