Cooper: Wire in safe hands

Warrington forward Mike Cooper believes that the Wolves’ future is in safe hands, despite the imminent departures of himself, Adrian Morley and Garreth Carvell.

Cooper is to leave the Halliwell Jones Stadium after eight seasons to join NRL outfit St George Illawarra, while Morley and Carvell are to join Salford and Bradford respectively.

25-year-old Cooper, who will make his 132nd Warrington appearance in Saturday’s Grand Final, says that the ‘next generation’ of Wolves forwards are more than capable of making the step up.

He said, “Glenn Riley will deservedly get his chance, as will James Laithwaite who has been unlucky with injury so far in his career.

“I think Ben Currie will be the leader of the group, he is a freak of a player and is only going to get better.”

Warrington were a very different club when Cooper was first breaking into the side in 2006, and he thinks that the players coming through now have an advantage due to being involved in a winning team.

“When I came through, training with the first-team was invaluable to my development.

“Nowadays the younger lads are not just being exposed to the first-team, they are also part of a team with a winning mentality.

“This week for example, in the build up to the Grand Final, they have trained with us and will be in and around the matchday squad on Saturday.

“So even though they may not be playing, they are still gaining some sort of Grand Final experience.”

For Cooper personally, this week is the biggest of his career so far, and he is desperate to sign off on a high.

“This is 100% the biggest week of my career. Winning the Grand Final with Warrington is something I’ve always wanted to do since being a kid, and it would be the perfect way to leave.”

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