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Gardner: Warrington “too much to turn down”

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WARRINGTON Wolves’ new head of performance Ade Gardner says the club had too much to turn down.

Gardner, 35, joins the club on a two-year deal from St Helens and fills the void left by Jon Clarke’s departure to rugby union.

He said: “Everything that Warrington offers is really innovative. I can’t speak highly enough of the staff at the club, they are very organised and professional.

“If you want to stay ahead of the curve you have to put that investment into the playing squad and the facilities which they have done.

“Knowing the performance staff has such a good reputation with Jon Clarke outgoing and knowing how much time he’s invested into improving the department I saw this as a really good opportunity for me to progress my career, from being an assistant at Saints coming into a top-notch high performance environment here at Warrington that rivals anywhere in Super League. It was too much to turn down.

“I will be looking to continue the good work that’s already been done over the last couple of years.

“From my perspective having been at Saints and having had a Rugby League playing career before that I will continue to be hard working, putting a lot of effort into the boys and continuing the work already in place.

“I’ve had the luxury of working at Saints over the last few years, ticking a lot of boxes working through the scholarship, academy and first team.

“When I looked at my career path post rugby this is what I wanted to do, make that step up to a head role.

“I feel prepared as Warrington have an outstanding squad to work with, some fantastic athletes and a great coaching staff who have had a lot of success this year and we hope to take it one step further next year.”

Gardner enjoyed a 13-year playing career making over 300 appearances across Super League and the Challenge Cup competitions. He signed for St Helens in 2002 from Barrow and played on their wing until 2013 joining Hull KR for one season in 2014.

While at St Helens he won the 2006 Super League Grand Final followed by the 2007 World Club Challenge. He also lifted four Challenge Cups; 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008.

His professional career also saw him represent both Great Britain and England, including the World Cup squad of 2008.

Head coach Steve Price said: “Ade had a distinguished playing career and he’s been involved in a system that has performed outstandingly well.

“St Helens have been up there as one of the best in the league in terms of their conditioning, speed and dynamism. He knows about winning trophies.

“He comes from a hard-working background in Barrow and has invested in himself heavily since finishing playing.

“He went over to America, self-funded, to do CPD work with some renowned strength and conditioning coaches over in the States.

“He is highly rated within the St Helens camp; is young, ambitious and bright. He will be a great fit and acquisition for our club.”

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Journalist and sport content specialist, who is also editor of Love Rugby League. Formerly ran the official website of the Carling Cup, as well as operating a digital services business in Warrington.

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