Oliver Holmes knows all about the methods of Daryl Powell, and he says the rest of his new Warrington Wolves team-mates are now embracing them as well.
The backrower, along with Peter Mata’utia, followed Powell in making the move from Castleford Tigers to the Halliwell Jones Stadium at the end of the 2021 season.
Holmes, 29, had spent his whole career with hometown club Castleford until this off-season, including more than eight years under the charge of Powell.
In that time the Tigers were transformed from one of Super League’s also-rans to a trophy-challenging force, winning the League Leaders’ Shield and reaching the Grand Final in 2017 along with Challenge Cup final appearances in 2014 and 2021.
Those achievements came with an enterprising style of play preached by Powell, and Holmes says Warrington’s players are now buying into those ideas as well as the culture he is looking to instil since taking over as head coach from Steve Price.
“Speaking with all the players that have been here a few years, they’re really liking what Powelly’s doing,” Holmes told League Express.
“His coaching, his meetings, everything he’s bringing in around the culture of the place and his philosophies, everyone’s really buying into it and is really impressed by it all.
“If Powelly can just get another couple of per cent out of each player then I’m pretty sure we’ll have a good team this year.”
Meanwhile, the Wolves coach has defended the decision to allow Gareth Widdop to return to Australia to spend time with his family.
The halfback, who featured on the Steve Prescott Man of Steel shortlist last season, will not be back in England until after Christmas.
“You can’t imagine how hard this time has been for Gaz,” said Powell. “It was only right that we gave him the opportunity to go and spend some time with his kids.”
The above content is also available in the regular weekly edition of League Express, on newsstands every Monday in the UK and as a digital download. Click here for more details.