Super League: Warrington’s Tom Smith happy with squad strength

Super League: Warrington coach Tony Smith says he is very happy with the strength of his squad ahead of the season opener

By  at Etihad Stadium  

Despite making no signings during the off-season, Warrington coach Tony Smith says he is very happy with the players available to him.

Smith will be hoping to continue the club’s steady improvement of recent years, something which will be aided by a number of young players hoping to earn a first-team jersey.

“It helps dramatically to have such a deep squad where competition for places is fierce,” he said.

“We want to keep everyone healthy because that will play a huge part in whether or not we have a successful season.

“We would have had to release players in order to make signings as we spend our salary cap. That’s been a restriction in terms of bringing people in but I’m quite happy with the squad that we’ve got. In terms of future signings, we’ll certainly bring in players again but that will be at the end of contracts.

“The young guys are coming through which means there is less of a need to bring in backups from outside. For some of our players, it’s another year on and another year of maturity. I think some of our young guys are ready to make their shift up to Super League on a more regular basis.

“Our more senior players are looking forward to it because for some of them, they’re in their last few chances. They’ve done well in the last few years and they want to keep that going because once you’ve tasted success you want more of it.’

The Wolves welcome Castleford to the Halliwell Jones Stadium for their first fixture of 2013, and Smith was keen to express how his players are relishing the new season.

“Coaches can always sense it in their players that there’s a huge set of excitement prior to the start of a new season and to be fair we feel that way too,” he added.

“Training-wise you can only do so much, but the early games allow you to assess your form.

“After all there’s only so much hard work that you can put the players through before you want to let them lose on opponents.

“I can see that they are up there in their tether so we can’t wait for Sunday and take on Cas.”

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