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Warrington Wolves' partnership with Swinton Lions vital for success under new youth structure
THE changes to Super League's youth system means that huge emphasis will now be placed on the Championship teams who will become the surrogate homes to some of Super League's budding talent.
With players over the age of 19 not selected for their club’s Super League team being forced to dual register with lower league clubs or go out on loan if they are to get any competitive game time, it falls on those Championship partners to develop the young players to a sufficient standard that they are able to make the step up to the elite grade if necessary.
For Warrington Wolves’ director of youth development John Bastian, that means the quality of the club’s future partnership with Leigh-based Championship One side Swinton Lions will be crucial if Wolves want to continue producing players of Super League quality.
“The partnership we create with Lions will be very important, as will the loan deals with the Championship clubs,” he said.
“It is vitally important that we can trust what Swinton Lions are doing when we send those young players over there.
“Another big problem is that we can only dual-register five players at one time over there, which is not enough.
“It would be nice if we could have seven or eight and I think overall we have got to progress the rule to accommodate that number of players.
“But we have to support this new system and Warrington Wolves will do that fully.
“We are not just going to be dipping our toe into this, this is a serious partnership and we will be diving right into it.”
For a full explanation of how Wolves will be strengthening the link with Swinton Lions, check out next week’s Warrington Guardian.