Super League team guide: Warrington’s Monaghan to step up again
Team Name: Warrington
Nickname: The Wire
Ground: Halliwell Jones Stadium
Famous Fans: Ian Brown (The Stone Roses), Steve Arnold (Coronation Street actor), Nicky Wire (The Manic Street Preachers)
Super League Wins: Zero – Ended season league leaders in 2011
Last Season: 5th – Eliminated in semi-finals
New Signings: Garry Wheeler (St Helens), Daryl Clark (Castleford Tigers), Ashton Sims (North Queensland Cowboys)
Head Coach: Tony Smith
An experienced coach with spells at Huddersfield Giants and Leeds Rhinos to his name, the British-Australian ex-pro is from good rugby league stock with brother Brian and cousin Rohan both still involved in the game in similar capacities.
In charge of the Great Britain and more notably England rugby league sides during the late 2000s, Smith guided the national side to the semi-finals of the 2008 World Cup where they were eventually beaten 32-22 by winners New Zealand.
Brought in to replace James Lowes six years ago, Warrington have enjoyed some success under the Lismore-born tactician, reaching their first Challenge Cup final in 19 years under Smith and go one better the following year with a 30-6 win over his former club Leeds.
He went on to enjoy more success in 2011 with the capture of the League Leader’s Shield, while the Wolves claimed another Challenge Cup in 2012. Despite this, Smith has yet to secure the Super League title he craves as a top coach, coming closest in 2013 when the Wolves lost to Wigan Warriors in the Grand Final.
Star Man: Joel Monaghan
Now in his fifth season with the Wolves, Monaghan will also be stepping into the considerable shoes of his older brother Michael as Warrington captain, following the latter’s retirement.
Fortunately the Wolves are in good hands with the 32-year-old fresh from a fine season in the Super League that saw him end the campaign one ahead of Catalan Dragons Morgan Escare as the top tryscorer in the league, having notched up an impressive 28.
He will need to be at his best though following an off-season in which more players have departed than been brought in. However if he can help the Wolves recreate the kind of magic that saw him open the scoring in the 2013 Super League final, then they could be among the contenders.
Check out Monaghan going over the line in the win over Saints:
Super League Grand Final odds: 4/1
Ladbrokes Challenge Cup odds: 9/2
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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