I’ve been at clubs that have had rebuilding phases: Paul Vaughan relishing Warrington move

Josh McAllister
Paul Vaughan. PA Images

Paul Vaughan isn’t fazed by the prospect of being a part of Warrington’s rebuilding phase following his two-year deal with the club.

Vaughan, 31, joins from Canterbury Bulldogs, having spent just one season with the club and finishing 12th spot on the NRL ladder last season.

The former New South Wales representative began his career at Canberra in 2013 before moving to St George Illawarra in 2017.

He now embarks on a new journey as Warrington coach Daryl Powell shuffles his squad with drastic changes ahead of 2023.

The side finished 11th in Super League last year for Powell’s first year in charge, and several players have now been released since. Gareth Widdop has joined Castleford, while the likes of Jack Hughes, Oliver Holmes and Jason Clark have also left the club.

Meanwhile, Vaughan is joined by Josh McGuire, Sam Kasiano, Gil Dudson, Josh Drinkwater and Matty Russell as new faces at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

Paul Vaughan on Warrington move

“I was keeping tabs on the team and what was happening last year,” Vaughan told Love Rugby League.

“Things didn’t go the way the boys wanted and sometimes that happens. I’ve been at clubs that have had that rebuilding phase a fair few times so I understand what it’s like and it’s pretty tough.

“Nobody sets out to have a season like that, it’s always quite disappointing. But the good thing is we’re all back at training now and everybody has the same goals and aspirations of having a good season and everyone is working towards that.

“If you look at the squad, it’s a great squad here. I think it’s an exciting time, we’ve just got to get the combinations and all that kind of stuff working together. It’s an exciting time for the club.”

Vaughan on Super League’s familiar faces

Keeping an eye on the competition ahead of his move, Vaughan has also been watching former team-mate and friend Kaide Ellis at Wigan, having moved in 2022 from St George Illawarra Dragons.

Matt Dufty is another familiar face for the Italy international forward, linking up with him at Warrington.

“I played a fair bit of footy with Matt (Dufty) at the Dragons and Bulldogs,” Vaughan said.

“It does make it easier when you come to the other side of the world and there’s familiar faces. It could be a little daunting when you come to a club where you don’t really know too many blokes and in a different country, but it makes it easier off the field when you have that connection.

“Just simple things like going for a coffee. It’s good for the family and kids to go out together too.

“I have a fair few mates that are playing at the minute. Kaide Ellis plays at Wigan, so I’ve been keeping tabs on him and how he’s been going and how that club is going.

“I’m pretty good mates with Jai Field too. It’s good to see those boys doing really well.

“It’s a strong competition, and that’s why I was excited to come over and have a crack. I guess you don’t really know until you’re out there. I’m looking to have a good pre-season and getting out there and experiencing it all.”

More Warrington content

Josh Drinkwater on “disappointing” Catalans exit and why he chose Warrington as new club

He’s a super smart football coach: Josh McGuire impressed by new boss Powell

I haven’t come over here for a holiday: Paul Vaughan bullish over Super League move

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