Warrington Wolves recruitment update: Sam Burgess outlines next steps in first press conference as head coach

Drew Darbyshire
Sam Burgess Warrington Wolves

Photo courtesy of Joe Richardson & Warrington Wolves

New Warrington head coach Sam Burgess provided the latest on the club’s recruitment in his first press conference as Wolves boss.

The Wire have made six new signings ahead of the 2024 campaign – Lachlan Fitzgibbon (Newcastle Knights), Rodrick Tai (PNG Hunters), Wesley Bruines (St Helens), Jordan Crowther (Wakefield), Zane Musgrove (St George Illawarra Dragons) and Brad Dwyer (Hull).

England international Toby King will again be a Warrington player next season after returning to the club following his season-long loan with Wigan, where he became a Super League champion.

Meanwhile, six players have departed the Halliwell Jones Stadium in the shape of Daryl Clark (St Helens), Peter Mata’utia (retired), Greg Minikin (Featherstone), Thomas Mikaele (Australian return), Jack Darbyshire (Leigh) and Aiden Doolan.

Speaking in his first press conference as Warrington coach on Monday, Burgess provided the latest on the club’s recruitment ahead of 2024.

“It’s always a bit of a fluid situation with squads and players moving and coming and going,” Burgess told Love Rugby League.

“I’m still getting my head around the cap here and what you can and can’t do.

“There’s a bit more freedom with players on loan and things which is new to me, so we’re pretty set on where we are at right now I’d say but that’s not to say there might be a small bit of movement that might present itself over the coming few months.”

Burgess insists it is a ‘clean slate’ for every single one of the players involved in his squad ahead of pre-season getting underway.

“It’s a clean slate,” Burgess said.

“Regardless of what I’ve recruited and what I’ve not recruited, what you saw at the back end of the year from the Warrington Wolves team was a team with spirit and I can certainly work with that.

“The recruitment is something we’ll focus on moving forward but it’s a clean page and there’s 17 spots every week up for grabs.”

Sam Burgess taking holistic approach at Warrington Wolves

Former NRL champion Burgess says he is taking a holistic approach to the Wolves this season and is basing most of his coaching on the team being a ‘collective’ rather than ‘individuals’.

“I don’t want to nail down any position, I think it’s more so as a whole, the wholistic approach,” Burgess said when asked about strengths and weaknesses in terms of positions.

“What can the team do better? What can we do better collectively? I think they are the questions and that’s for me to work out.

“I think there’s a few things we can tidy up – small effort areas – some inside pressure work.

“I’m probably talking gibberish to you guys but it’s just small detail, more holistic, more than what’s better for the team rather than individual aspects.”

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