‘He’s like an NFL running back’ – Warrington Wolves star backed for England ahead of Super League 2023

IT’S big praise indeed, but being described as ‘an NFL running back’ is what Warrington Wolves star Connor Wrench is being hailed as by Super League teammate Joe Philbin.

Currently, both Wrench and Philbin are on the sidelines recovering from serious ACL injuries sustained in 2022 and Philbin had nothing but good words to say about the 21-year-old, who recently signed a new long-term deal at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

“I’ve been in my own little world in rehab but I would give a shoutout to Connor Wrench who has done his ACL as well,” Philbin told League Express.

“His mentality is rock solid and it’s been a pleasure to be going through it at the same time as him. When either of us have our bad days, we’ve got the other one there to snap us into check. His mentality has been first class, me and him are doing everything together in training, we have a separate schedule.”

For Philbin, Wrench is an incredibly talented young player that has the ability to go all the way in rugby league – and even compared the outside back to an NFL running back.

“Absolutely (he will become an England player); I remember in the England camp in 2021 in France, Connor came over as the 18th man after shining for the England Knights,” Philbin continued.

“Shaun Wane was impressed and wanted to bring him into the setup. I think he would only have been 20 or 19 then.

“When he’s fit, he’s like an NFL running back. When you’re tired in training in pre-season, he’s dancing around, it’s no good for us big lads!

“The future for Connor is as bright as he wants it to be. The mentality he’s shown over the last few months, he is going to go an awful long way.”

In terms of recovery, Philbin is likely to start the season before Wrench considering the former is two months ahead of the latter from the time of injury.

However, it will be brilliant for Super League and rugby league in general to witness both men back on the field in 2023.