“He’s one of the best in the competition” – Warrington coach hails star player

Josh McAllister
Matty Ashton, Stefan Ratchford, SWpix.

Picture by Paul Currie/SWpix.com.

Warrington head coach Daryl Powell has labelled Matty Ashton as one of the best wingers in Super League following his stellar start to 2023. 

Ashton, 24, is in his fourth year with the club and recently earned an England call up by boss Shaun Wane, making his international debut in the mid-season fixture against France.

He was named on the wing for England earlier in April, receiving high praise from Wane following the 64-0 victory at the Halliwell Jones Stadium. 

The Rochdale Mayfield amateur is ever-present for Warrington in the 2023 Super League season, scoring 10 tries, as well as crossing twice in the recent 16-14 Challenge Cup sixth round win over Catalans in Perpignan.

Matty Ashton ‘deserves everything he’s getting’ says coach

“His confidence has grown massively, not only his try scoring, but the amount of work that he does and how solid he is,” Powell told Love Rugby League. 

“He produced a try-saver on Matt Ikuvalu, who is a big, strong physical player and he holds him up right on the line. It’s a phenomenal effort.

“I don’t think it’s just his try-scoring, I think he’s an all-round player. 

“He’s really grown in confidence and his journey has been well documented in how he’s got to the position he is in now.

“He deserves everything he’s getting. Matty is such a hard worker and such a great kid as well, he’s real humble and is fantastic to coach. 

“He’s pretty hard on himself, you have to almost keep feeding him with confidence because he is really hard on himself.

“He has been awesome. I think he’s one of the best wingers in the competition, his try-scoring is class, but so is the rest of his game.”

Championship talent available to Super League

Ashton made the step up to Super League after an impressive season with Swinton in the 2019 Championship campaign, his first year in the professional game in England, crossing for 30 tries in 25 appearances.

Newly appointed Castleford assistant coach Craig Lingard has recently expressed his desire to help the side recruit from the second tier, with Powell also sharing his admiration for the amount of talent in the division. 

“There’s 100% quality players in the Championship, there’s a couple in our team [from there], James Harrison as well,” Powell said. 

“We’re a late maturation sport and that’s why you find players in the Championship, they mature a little bit later than players in Super League teams, it’s a little bit different to them. 

“Talking about dual-registration and going out on loan, that’s going out to the Championship and finding a tough competition that puts you under pressure and that’s exactly what these guys coming through late have done. 

“It’s a slightly different journey, but nonetheless they end up being high quality players. 

“Alex Walmsley is another good example, [Joe] Batchelor, there’s loads and they end up being pretty mature, tough players.”

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