Super League 2024: Warrington Wolves preview, players to watch and predicted finish

Rugby League World says

Perhaps the coach under the most pressure this year is Sam Burgess. 

Having proved himself as one of the best players in the world during his time with Bradford Bulls and South Sydney Rabbitohs, he has returned to these shores for his first job as a head coach.

If a first coaching role wasn’t pressure enough, he’s doing it at a club that always demands so much, but often fails to deliver. Not even proven coach Daryl Powell could turn things around and banish the ‘it’s always your year’ jibes that often haunt the Wolves.

But Burgess is under no illusions of the task in hand, and even he knows his appointment is an unusual one for the club. But could it be the right change for Warrington?

If Burgess’ no-nonsense playing style is anything to go by, he certainly won’t stand for anything less than 100 per cent from his charges as a coach. But will that be enough to finally get the Wolves back on track after a couple of traumatic campaigns?

Three to watch

Toby King returns to Warrington after almost two years in the cold under previous coach Daryl Powell. Last season’s loan spell at Wigan brought great reward to both player and club, while leaving the Wolves looking somewhat foolish. The bright side is they have one of England’s best centres on their hands again, and they must use him well.

Sam Powell is set for a strange year as he plays outside Wigan for the first time. Seemingly destined to be a one-club man, he found himself surplus to requirements and so joins King in switching to Warrington fresh from Grand Final success. Powell could play hooker, following Daryl Clark’s exit, or reunite with George Williams in the halves.

Josh Thewlis enjoyed his best season to date in 2023, with the 21-year-old claiming a regular wing spot and winning the Super League Young Player of the Year award. In Thewlis and Matty Ashton, Warrington have two young, English wingers who are big threats from backfield with their pace and reliable try-scorers too.

Did you know?

Warrington are the only side ever to get their hands on the ITV Television Trophy. It was played for in 1955-56, with eight teams contesting a series of matches under floodlights in London. The Wire beat Leigh 43-15 in the final at the Queens Park Rangers football ground.


1 Matt Dufty, 2 Josh Thewlis, 3 Toby King, 4 Stefan Ratchford, 5 Matty Ashton, 6 George Williams, 7 Josh Drinkwater, 8 James Harrison, 9 Danny Walker, 10 Paul Vaughan, 11 Ben Currie, 12 Lachlan Fitzgibbon, 13 Matty Nicholson, 14 Rodrick Tai, 15 Joe Philbin, 16 Zane Musgrove, 17 Jordan Crowther, 18 Leon Hayes, 19 Joe Bullock, 20 Connor Wrench, 21 Sam Kasiano, 22 Gil Dudson, 23 Brad Dwyer, 24 Matty Russell, 25 Lucas Green, 26 Wesley Bruines, 27 Luke Thomas, 28 Adam Holroyd, 29 Tom Whitehead, 30 Josh Lynch, 31 Jake Thewlis, 32 Sam Powell, 33 Aaron Lindop, 34 Max Wood, 35 Zac Bardsley-Rowe, 36 Nolan Tupaea.

Potential milestones

Ben Currie needs 6 tries for 100 for the club…
Joe Philbin needs 4 appearances for 200 for the club…
Sam Powell needs 16 appearances for 300 in his career…
Stefan Ratchford needs 3 appearances for 450 in his career 

RLW predicts: 7th

First published in Rugby League World magazine, Issue 492 (January 2024)

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