Warrington Wolves interim coach on Josh Thewlis injury, Peter Mata’utia future, new recruit Rodrick Tai

Drew Darbyshire
Rodrick Tai, Peter Mata'utia, Josh Thewlis Warrington Wolves Alamy

Warrington Wolves interim coach Gary Chambers has provided an injury update on Josh Thewlis ahead of Sunday’s trip to Salford Red Devils.

Winger Thewlis was visibly in discomfort with a rib injury in their thrilling 66-12 win over Castleford on Saturday, needing a pain-killing injection at half-time.

Speaking in his weekly press conference on Wednesday, Chambers said the speedster was still feeling sore but put his hand up to play in Sunday’s huge clash with Salford, with both teams vying for a play-off place.

“I just think he’s a bit sore, we’ll keep monitoring him,” Chambers said.

“He’s done a bit today so we’ll just see how he goes over the next few days. He’s saying all the right things, he’s tough, he’s saying he wants to play.”

The Wire would be able to call upon the likes of Matty Russell, Greg Minikin or Connor Wrench should Thewlis not make it in time for Sunday.

Gary Chambers on future of Peter Mata’utia

Warrington have three players who are out of contract at the end of the season in the shape of outside-backs Peter Mata’utia, Russell and Minikin, with former Samoa international Mata’utia and Scotland international Russell having one-year options in their contracts in the club’s favour.

Minikin has been linked with a move to promotion-chasing Championship club Featherstone for 2024, as per Yorkshire Livewhilst Chambers has praised the performances of Mata’utia in recent weeks.

Asked if there had been a resolution on his future beyond the end of the year yet, Chambers replied: “No, not that I’m aware of. That will probably be something that I’ll get to down the line.

“At the moment that’s for other people rather than me. I’m just focused on what’s going on with the team at the moment and then what’s going to happen after that then I’ll start picking up on but at the moment Karl (Fitzpatrick, chief executive) will be working along with that, about what will happen with players and everything that goes with that.”

New signing Rodrick Tai ‘ticks all the boxes we’re looking to recruit for this club’

Rodrick Tai Papua New Guinea Warrington Wolves Alamy Rodrick Tai in action for Papua New Guinea against the Cook Islands in last year’s World Cup

Last week, Sam Burgess made his first signing as Warrington head coach in the shape of Papua New Guinea international Rodrick Tai.

The 24-year-old centre has signed a one-year deal with the Wire for 2024, with the option of a further year in the club’s favour.

On the club’s new recruit, Chambers said: “We had the luxury in the World Cup that PNG were training at our base.

“We ran a number of sessions against the Papua New Guinea team so we knew the sort of people that were training, they are good people and were really helpful to the young kids when we were running shape against them and things like that.

“I remember Rodrick in the World Cup game at the Halliwell Jones when he scored there, he put in a big performance and Sam identified him as a potential, he started ticking a few boxes the more we looked at him.

“He’s a dynamic runner, really athletic, he’s the right age, he wants to learn, he’s an intelligent guy, he ticks all the boxes we’re looking to recruit for this club.”

Rodrick Tai: Everything you need to know about Warrington Wolves’ new signing

Praise for impact loanee Jordan Crowther has made

Jordan Crowther has made four appearances for Warrington since arriving on loan from fellow Super League club Wakefield, earning the praise of Chambers for his impact on the side.

“He just arrived when I sort of came into this position and I’ve said from day one how highly I think of him,” Chambers said.

“First of all, he’s a great bloke, good to be around, has brought a lot to the team, has settled in really well, the lads like him and that’s the important thing about him first and foremost.

“Can he play? 100 per cent, he’s tough, he’s energetic, he’s got a good skill range – he’s a very good player.”

Warrington face Salford in front of the Channel 4 cameras at the Salford Stadium on Sunday afternoon, 12:45pm kick-off.

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