Warrington feeling double boost from international weekend

James Gordon

Warrington coach Daryl Powell had plenty of reasons to be happy with the international break.

Not only did it give him a week to freshen up his squad following back-to-back defeats to Wigan and St Helens, but the Warrington players involved for England all impressed.

As well as hosting the game, Warrington also provided six of Shaun Wane’s 17.

George Williams marked his first game as captain with a hat-trick in a 64-0 win over France.

Writing in his programme notes for tonight’s game against Wakefield, Powell said: “The boys who weren’t involved in the England international have had a little bit of breathing space and look fresh.

“I thought our England boys were outstanding.

“James Harrison played really well on his England debut, he carried and defended well like he always does.

“Danny Walker was superb with his service and kicked another 40/20 which was class.

“Matty Nicholson was good and solid and Matty Ashton did what he’s been doing with us all season.

“Ben Currie gave another strong performance in the back-row and carried on the form he’s been showing all year.

“George (Williams) was world class and everything he did turned to gold in that game. Hopefully we’ll see him in the same sort of form tonight.

“It was really pleasing from a club perspective.”

Warrington preparing to face basement boys Wakefield

Williams signed a new deal to commit his future to Warrington recently, and he was joined this week by Ashton, who has now signed until the end of 2026.

The six England players are all in Powell’s 21-man squad for the visit of Wakefield, who are rooted to the bottom of the Super League table with 10 defeats from 10.

Warrington could return to the top of the table with a win, following Wigan’s surprise defeat to Hull on Thursday night.

Gil Dudson is still banned, but Joe Philbin and Paul Vaughan both return from their respective suspensions. Another front-rower, Joe Bullock, returns from a thumb injury.

Wakefield have signed former Man of Steel Luke Gale ahead of the game, though Mark Applegarth may not risk the former Leeds and Castleford scrum half, who has been playing part-time with Keighley this season.

Applegarth hinted that he may use the time to get Gale back up to speed in a full-time environment.

Warrington 21-man squad: Ashton, Bullock, Clark, Currie, Drinkwater, Dufty,  Green, Harrison, Kasiano, Mata’utia, McGuire, Minikin, Nicholson, Philbin, Ratchford, Russell, Thewlis, Vaughan, Walker, Whitehead, Williams.

Wakefield 21-man squad: Taufua, Gaskell, Lino, Battye, Hood, Whitbread, Ashurst, Tanginoa, Pitts, Crowther, Kay, Bowden, Atoni, Kershaw, Proctor, Smith, Butler, Bowes, Eseh, Dagger, Gale.

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