WARRINGTON Wolves’ head of performance Jon Clarke will leave his position at the club at the end of the current season to take up a role in English rugby.
Clarke enjoyed a playing career stretching from 1995 through to 2014 including 11 years at Warrington Wolves between 2001 and 2011. Prior to joining Warrington he played for both Wigan and London, and finished his career at Widnes, retiring in 2014.
During his playing career he also represented Great Britain, lifted the Challenge Cup in 2010 and was part of the League Leaders Shield winning squad of 2011 both with Warrington.
Clarke took on the role of head of strength and conditioning at Widnes for one year before making his return to Warrington on the performance side in 2015 under then coach Tony Smith. Ahead of the 2018 campaign he was promoted to head of performance working alongside Steve Price this season.
Warrington head coach Steve Price said: “Since day one when I arrived Jon and I have formed a strong bond. I’ve come across a fair few heads of performance in my time and he’s certainly one of the best in that field. He’s extremely hard working and understands the intricacies of what high performance looks like. He understands Rugby League like no other and I’ve loved every minute of working with him. Jon’s an outstanding family man and on behalf of Warrington Wolves we wish him all the best.”
Clarke added: “I’ve been involved at Warrington for over 13 years so it’s been a massive part of my life and I’ve loved every minute of it. I had some great times as a player – particularly towards the back end when we started winning trophies – as well as making some unbelievable friends within the team, club and town.
“After leaving for Widnes I then came back here as head of strength and conditioning before becoming head of performance. I’ve had the time of my life doing this job. We have been to three finals in my time on the performance side, unfortunately we’ve lost them all up to now but hopefully we can put that right in October. I’ve gone on to meet some lads I didn’t know before coming back, have worked under Tony Smith for two years and then under Pricey’s leadership and coaching which has undoubtedly been the best environment I’ve worked in to date. The club is very lucky to have Steve Price as head coach. He’s a phenomenal coach and the way he has handled this situation with me has been first class; I couldn’t hold him in any higher regard if I tried. Also with Hendo, Briersy, Kylie and the other staff under him the club will only go from strength to strength in my opinion and be successful over the next few years.
“On top of this, the rearrangement at board level and what they do for the club means Warrington couldn’t be in a healthier place and that’s what is making it so difficult to leave but I just can’t turn this opportunity down to test myself in a different sport on the world stage. It is a dream job when you are in my profession; one of the biggest jobs in the world in terms of strength and conditioning.
“I’ll be forever indebted to Rugby League and Warrington Wolves. The experiences I’ve had as a player and coach here are what have got me to this job now at international level. This is where Warrington Wolves as a club needs to be praised. It is never good to lose good staff but as a club we are creating a platform for developing top-class practitioners in strength and conditioning, nutrition, physiotherapy and coaching which shouldn’t go unnoticed.
“I’d like to thank everyone at the club including players, staff, fans, Simon Moran, the Board in particular Stuart Middleton and Mike Lomax, Paul Cullen, Tony Smith, Steve Price and my family for their fantastic support during my time at the club. I’ve developed massively under Pricey over the last eight months and have become very close friends with him. He’s been massive in my development and has taught me a lot, that only the experience he has can teach you. I love coming to work; I bounce in every day because of the environment we have here and that is something I’ll most certainly miss. I wish everyone involved with the club the best of luck in 2019 and beyond, and I’ll still be supporting and watching the Wolves every week!”