An ultimate 13 of rugby league players born in Warrington, including Wolves quintet

Drew Darbyshire
Gareth O'Brien, Danny Walker, Mike Cooper Warrington Alamy

From left to right: Gareth O'Brien (Leigh), Danny Walker (Warrington) and Mike Cooper (Wigan) in action

Throughout the summer at Love Rugby League, we’re going to be taking a geographical tour of some of rugby league’s most famous towns and cities and compiling some dream line-ups comprising of active players.

Some places will unsurprisingly throw out star-studded sides with some of the best players in the world included. But some may surprise you about the quality of stars the area has produced: we started our feature series last week week with Halifax and Widnes.

Next up? Warrington, once known as a Lancashire town but these days comes under Cheshire. The town’s rugby league team, Warrington Wolves, have fielded nine academy products so far in 2024 and have produced a number of international players over the years. Here’s our ultimate 13 of players born or raised in Warrington..

1. Gareth O’Brien

Gareth O'Brien

O’Brien was born and raised in Warrington, and came through the academy at his hometown club. He 62 appearances for Warrington between 2011 and 2015 before going on to play for Salford, Toronto and Castleford before joining Leigh ahead of last season. He helped the Leopards win the Challenge Cup in 2023.

2. Ed Chamberlain

Ed Chamberlain Leigh Leopards Alamy

Chamberlain is a proud Warringtonian but he has never played for the Wolves. The 28-year-old came through the academy ranks at Widnes and spent four seasons at Salford between 2018 and 2020 before signing for Leigh in 2022. He has represented Ireland in two World Cups, qualifying to play for the Wolfhounds through his family heritage.

3. Connor Wrench

Connor Wrench Warrington Wolves Alamy

The 22-year-old is highly regarded at the Wolves, having scored 16 tries in 37 appearances since making his first team debut in 2020. An England Knights international, Wrench has a very bright future in the game.

4. Harvey Livett

Harvey Livett Huddersfield Giants Alamy

Livett is a back-rower by trade, but he is no stranger to the centre position, so that’s where we’ve put him in our line-up! The 27-year-old progressed through the youth system at Warrington, making 46 first team appearances between 2017 and 2020. He spent two seasons at Salford before signing for Huddersfield ahead of the 2023 campaign.

5. Arron Lindop

Arron Lindop Warrington Wolves Alamy

The 18-year-old is a highly-rated young gun at the Wire. He played his junior rugby for Latchford Giants before joining the Wolves’ youth set-up. Lindop made his first team debut as a 17-year-old in the opening round of this season.

NEXT GEN: Meet the ‘pretty special athlete’ waiting in the wings at Warrington Wolves

6. Joe Mellor

Joe Mellor Salford Red Devils Alamy

Mellor is another Warringtonian who has never actually played for the Wolves. He came through the ranks at Wigan, having joined the Warriors from his local community club Latchford. Mellor would only play four first team games for Wigan before moving to Widnes in 2013, going on to spend six seasons with the Vikings. He then went on to play for Toronto and Leigh before joining Salford ahead of this season.

7. Leon Hayes

Leon Hayes Warrington Wolves Alamy

Hayes is living his childhood dream, representing his beloved Wolves. The 20-year-old played 10 games for Sam Burgess’ side in 2024 before a serious ankle injury sadly ended his season. He’s going to be part of the Wire furniture for years to come though, you suspect.

RELATED: Leon Hayes rise charted as Warrington Wolves starlet earns praise from Sam Burgess

8. Dan Norman

Dan Norman Leigh Leopards Alamy
Dan Norman in a pre-match warm up for Leigh Leopards in 2024

Norman, who attended Birchwood Community High School, came through the academy at Widnes. He made 20 appearances for the Vikings first team before having a short spell with London Broncos prior to his move to St Helens in 2021. After three seasons with Saints, the Ireland international joined Leigh ahead of this season.

RELATED: Player by day, PT by night: Inside the busy lifestyle of Leigh Leopards’ Dan Norman

9. Danny Walker

Danny Walker Warrington Wolves Alamy

The England international, who hails from Orford, came through the academy at Widnes. He played 31 games for the Vikings’ first team before joining boyhood club Warrington in 2019, since making more than 100 appearances for the Wolves. He made his international debut for England last year.

10. Mike Cooper

Mike Cooper

Born and raised in Warrington, Cooper is a Wire academy product, making his first team debut in 2006. The England international made 272 appearances for Warrington either side of a three-year spell in the NRL. Cooper, 35, has been with Wigan since 2022, playing in their World Club Challenge win earlier this year.

11. Andrew Dixon

Andrew Dixon Salford Red Devils Alamy

Dixon was born in Manchester but grew up in Warrington, attending St Greogry’s High School. The 34-year-old is a St Helens academy product, playing 67 games in the Red V between 2008 and 2012, including their Grand Final defeat in 2010. Dixon has since played for Leigh, Toronto and Toulouse, with the versatile forward having been at Salford since last season.

12. Andre Savelio

Andre Savelio Hull FC Alamy

This might be somewhat of a controversial call: but hear us out! Savelio was born in New Zealand but raised in Warrington having moved there as a one-year-old when his father, Samoa international Lokeni Savelio, started playing in Super League. The 29-year-old played his junior rugby for Latchford Albion before being signed by St Helens at the age of 14. Savelio played 42 games for Saints between 2014 and 2016 before going on to spend the 2017 campaign with hometown club Warrington. Following a spell in the NRL with Brisbane Broncos in 2018, Savelio returned to England with Hull FC in 2019, and signed for Huddersfield ahead of this season.

13. Joe Philbin

Joe Philbin Warrington Wolves Alamy

The 29-year-old has spent his entire career as a one-club man, making more than 200 appearances for his hometown club Warrington. Philbin has also represented Great Britain, Ireland and England on the international stage.

RELATED: The impressive journey of Joe Philbin’s decade at Warrington Wolves: From imposter syndrome to elder statesman

Bench

Dec Patton, Tom Forber, Jack Darbyshire, Matty Fleming.

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