The 5 Warrington Wolves players Sam Burgess has already transformed

Ben Olawumi
Leon Hayes, Ben Currie, Matt Dufty

Warrington Wolves' Leon Hayes (left), Ben Currie (middle) & Matt Dufty (right)

Sam Burgess’ Warrington Wolves laid down another marker of their intent to compete with the best that Super League has to offer in 2024 with their eye-catching win at Leeds Rhinos.

The Wolves have now won five of their opening seven league games, with their two defeats both coming against Catalans Dragons.

And having been beaten by Catalans last weekend in Rivals Round, Burgess’ men bounced back with a bang at Headingley, the 34-8 scoreline far from flattering.

There are a few players who have seen their roles, and accordingly performances, transformed by the arrival of Burgess. Below, we take a look at five of them…

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Matt Dufty

Matt Dufty Warrington Wolves Alamy
Matt Dufty scoring a try for Warrington Wolves in 2024

Dufty has been one of the top performers across the whole of Super League in the early stages of the campaign, and that’s due to Burgess’ tactics.

The full-back has his hands on the ball more often, and plays a pivotal role in pretty much every attack. For a lot of last year, that wasn’t the case. Seven tries in seven appearances so far in 2024, including a Challenge Cup tie against London Broncos. He got just 14 in 30 appearances in 2023, and those tallies say it all.

Ben Currie

29-year-old Currie has found a new lease of life under Burgess, a man he played with for England at the 2017 World Cup, switching positions and taking on the loose forward role.

Having starred as a second-rower for years, he’s now a permanent fixture in the #13 slot, starting there in each of his last five appearances. The stalwart deservedly earned Sky Sports’ man of the match award for his showing at Headingley, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see that happen a few more times before the season is out.

Jordan Crowther

Jordan Crowther
Warrington Wolves’ Jordan Crowther (left) tackles Hull KR’s Peta Hiku

When Crowther put pen to paper on a permanent deal with Warrington last year, before his initial loan from Wakefield Trinity had come to an end, he detailed his excitement at Burgess’ arrival at the club.

Last night at Leeds, Burgess slotted him in as one of his starting props, and he didn’t let Wire down again. Crowther has consistently turned up, a true old school forward who just gives his all for the team with plenty of involvement week in, week out. He may not be a signing that caught the eye of many, but he is a sterling coop in our opinion!

Leon Hayes

Hayes has benefitted from some injuries to key players and had a good run in the Wire team, but Burgess has put his trust in him to perform, and the youngster has done exactly that with starts in the last six.

The 20-year-old has already more than trebled his total appearance tally for Warrington, consistently impressing on the big stage. We await to see whether he’ll lose his spot when Josh Drinkwater returns, but you get the feeling that Burgess, Martin Gleeson and the rest of the club’s coaching staff have really enhanced his game in every aspect since their arrival.

Adam Holroyd

Adam Holroyd
Warrington Wolves’ Adam Holroyd dives over for a try in 2024

Speaking of youth, it’s clear to see that Burgess is focused on promoting from within, and Holroyd is another prime example of that. He began this season sat on seven senior Wire appearances, and the win at Leeds was his seventh in 2024 alone, starting all bar one of the games with Burgess at the helm so far.

Like Hayes, he’s not let anyone down when provided the opportunity either, adding impetus to the pack, even more evident at Headingley having come off the bench rather than starting. He’s got some great, experienced forwards around him to learn from, so we’re sure Holroyd is only going to keep getting better.