Warrington Wolves’ Sam Powell makes Matt Peet admission after Wigan Warriors coach’s classy words

Ben Olawumi
Sam Powell, Matt Peet

Sam Powell & Matt Peet have both shared classy words on one another ahead of Wigan Warriors' clash with Warrington Wolves on Saturday

Wigan head coach Matt Peet & Warrington Wolves ace Sam Powell have both provided glowing references of one another ahead of their first reunion since the hooker’s exit from the Warriors last autumn.

Powell served his hometown club for over a decade, debuting at senior level in August 2012 and going on to make 273 appearances for the Cherry & Whites.

The last of those came off the interchange bench at Old Trafford in October, helping Wigan to a 10-2 victory against Catalans Dragons in the Grand Final as the Warriors were crowned Super League champions for the first time in five years.

A move across the North West to Warrington followed, and on Saturday afternoon when the two clubs meet at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, the first reunion will see Powell hit the milestone of 300 career appearances.

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Wigan Warriors coach Matt Peet’s classy words on Sam Powell

15 of his 299 so far have come for the Wolves, an ever-present for Sam Burgess’ side since his arrival having started on the interchange bench in all bar one game to date this year.

Barring any injury or suspension, Powell’s 301st career appearance will also be against his former employers seven days later under the Wembley arch as the two clubs meet in the Challenge Cup final on June 8.

And speaking to the media ahead of this weekend’s league clash, Warriors boss Peet paid a classy tribute to the 31-year-old, saying: “We have a good relationship, myself and Sam, from all the time I’ve worked through the club.

“I learned a lot from him and I always trusted him. He’s an unbelievable professional. We’ve all got so much respect for him, not just as a player, but as a person.

“I think it was a really smart signing from Warrington, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they’ve signed him and certain improvements have been made; I think he’s contributed to their environment.

“We’re aware of exactly what he’ll be bringing to that group in terms of his care, how much he buys into the team, and puts the team first.

“He’s a legend of a bloke.”

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Warrington Wolves hooker Powell responds to Peet’s praise with ‘awesome coach’ admission

Those words came from Peet on Wednesday morning in his pre-match press conference. Just a few hours later as Warrington held theirs, given the milestone he will hit this weekend, Powell himself was put in front of the press by the Wolves.

As he was informed of the glowing reference from Peet, the hooker returned serve and spoke with admiration for the Warriors head coach, who was at the helm for Powell’s final two years at the club having worked his way up in-house over more than a decade.

The three-time England Knights international, who also has loan appearances on his CV for both South Wales Scorpions & Workington Town, responded: “Yeah, they’re really nice words (from Peet).

“We had a good two years together with Matty being the head coach, but we spent a lot of time in and around each other. Matty was coaching me back in the academy days… that’s a long time ago now, so we go back a bit of time.

“I’m happy for him, he’s turned out to be an awesome coach and there’s not many who have won as many trophies in such a short space of time.

“We’ve had a couple of chats and caught up (since I left). He said I’m doing well over here and I said vice versa. I congratulated him when they won the World Club Challenge, that was huge.

“I wouldn’t say I’m surprised (at Peet’s success), because I could always see how dedicated he was as a coach.

“I think he’s got really good people around him, two legends of blokes in Lockers (Sean O’Loughlin) and Tommy (Leuluai), who help him massively, but Matty has done really well and I’m pleased for him.”

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