Warrington Wolves star George Williams is yet to taste any real success with Warrington Wolves, but hasn’t been disheartened, and has stressed the importance of them closing the gap at the top this year as they ‘find their identity’ with a view to eventually achieving Super League glory.
Joining the Wire midway through the 2021 season following his NRL departure, Williams linked up with a side which finished 3rd, but fell at the first hurdle in the play-offs, crumbling on home soil against Hull KR and laying the unwanted foundations for what was to come.
Ending 2022 second-bottom of the Super League table after losing 18 of their 27 games, things were looking distinctly better at the start of last term, when eight wins in a row to begin the campaign saw Daryl Powell‘s Warrington top the tree.
Before long though, it all came tumbling down oncemore, consistently inconsistent until a run of eight defeats on the bounce came between June and August, Powell relieved of his duties in the midst of that run.
The Wolves would just about do enough to make the cut for the top six, but again – and this time unsurprisingly – came unstuck in the play-offs at the first hurdle when they were beaten by St Helens.
Warrington Wolves star George Williams reaffirms desire for glory: ‘I came here to win a Grand Final and I’ll keep going until we get it’
But heading into 2024, there is once again renewed hope for Williams & co., both in and out of their Cheshire camp.
The bookmakers tip them for a positive year, the fourth favourites to win the Grand Final, and that’s the end goal for the star half-back, who has already been crowned a Super League champion three times with hometown club Wigan Warriors.
Speaking to the press – including Love Rugby League – at Warrington’s pre-season media day, the England captain reaffirmed his own ambitions as he said: “I’m happy here.
“It’s not gone perfectly to plan, and we’ve not won two competitions, which I was hoping to, but I say all the time that the goal has not changed for me.
“I came here to win a Grand Final and I’ll keep going until we get it.”
Williams discusses Warrington ‘finding an identity’ with the help of Ant Middleton & the importance of them closing gap at the top this year
In less than three full seasons at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, Williams has already seen three head coaches come and go, albeit one of those being Gary Chambers, who was only ever an interim and now has a role as the club’s Director of Rugby.
After Steve Price, Powell & Chambers, Williams’ former England team-mate Sam Burgess will become the fourth man to take charge of a Wire side which includes the half-back tomorrow night – February 3 – when Warrington host Leigh Leopards in Joe Philbin’s testimonial game.
And if Burgess is to be the man to bring a first-ever Super League title to the Wire, Williams knows two things must change quickly – the club’s identity, and the distance between them and their competitors.
Eventual champions Wigan finished 12 points ahead of Warrington in the regular Super League season last term, and knocked them out of the Challenge Cup despite playing with a man less for more than 70 minutes following Kaide Ellis’ early dismissal.
Williams said: “That’s something we’ve spoken about in the leadership (group), that the gap has to close. It’s a game of inches, but we’ve got to close that gap, and when you play Warrington, you need to know what you’re getting.
“To be honest, if you go to Saints or you go to Wigan, you know what you’re getting. We just need to find our identity, and I think you’ll see that this year.
“We’ve had two years of hit and miss where you rock up and you don’t know what you’re getting (from us), but as from now on, you’ll know what you’re going to see.
“We might not always win, but you’ll always see a team.”