WARRINGTON Wolves’ preparations for the new Super League season continue, despite all other rugby league being brought to a halt.
Superstar signing Greg Inglis, the former Australia international, arrived in the UK on Friday, greeted by head coach Steve Price to join up with the squad, who have been back in preparation for the 2021 campaign, currently stated to start on March 11.
— Warrington Wolves (@WarringtonRLFC) January 8, 2021
Following the Government’s latest lockdown enforced earlier this week, the RFL announced that all levels of rugby league – other than Super League first team – must stop; impacting the Wolves’ academy and women’s teams, as well as community rugby league teams in the town, who had been hoping to resume at youth and open age level in January.
Question marks remain over whether Super League will start on time, with fixtures not yet released. The likelihood is that any start will be behind closed doors, that’s assuming that the Government allows elite sport – which covers the top three tiers in rugby league – can continue.
A statement said: “The RFL will continue to work closely with Betfred Super League clubs to ensure the protocols around their pre-season training programmes evolve to reflect the current landscape and understanding of the disease.”
One player who won’t be joining Inglis is homegrown half-back Dec Patton, who has left the Halliwell Jones Stadium following the end of his contract.
Patton, 25, has struggled to pin down a regular first team spot for the Wolves, despite making more than 100 appearances since his debut in 2015.
He played just four times in 2020, and also made two appearances on dual-registration at Widnes.
The England Knights international played in the 2019 Challenge Cup final over St Helens, and was part of the losing side in the 2018 Challenge Cup final and the 2014 and 2016 Super League Grand Finals.
He is the fifth confirmed departure from the Wolves’ class of 2020, with centre Anthony Gelling having been released by mutual consent to enable him to return to New Zealand, and back-rower Ben Murdoch-Masila moving to the NRL with New Zealand Warriors.
The other players to leave are young forward Luis Johnson, who has left to join Hull KR in a swap deal that has seen Rob Mulhern come the other way, and back-rower Harvey Livett, who has signed for Salford after spending last year on loan at Hull KR.
— Warrington Wolves (@WarringtonRLFC) December 11, 2020
Former Leeds prop Mulhern joins Inglis and London Broncos forward Rob Butler as new faces in the squad.
Youngsters Keanan Brand and Samy Kibula have both gone out on season-long loans to Leigh and Newcastle respectively.
Marquee man Gareth Widdop, who has been subject to much speculation of a departure back to Australia, has returned for pre-season, with reports Down Under suggesting no NRL clubs were willing to offer him a deal and take over his contract with the Wolves.
It is believed that the Wolves remain on the look out for a forward, with the future of Tongan prop Leilani Latu uncertain, after he failed to impress in making just three appearances after signing from Gold Coast Titans last year.