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Switching Tenerife for Australia will not stall Warrington Wolves' title march
9:42am Thursday 10th January 2013 in Wolves news
Adrian Morley at the bottom of the Wembley steps after lifting the Challenge Cup for Wolves last August
WOLVES’ unrelenting revolution as a Super League force will not be dented by the warm-weather training camp change this year, believes club skipper Adrian Morley.
The ground-breaking 24-day camp in Australia last January is swapped for seven days in Tenerife this time but Britain’s most capped international feels assured another great season is on the horizon for Wolves’ fans to savour.
And that endorses a bookmakers’ first earlier this week, announcing Tony Smith’s troops as favourites to be crowned champions of Super League during 2013.
“Australia was fantastic but the financial aspect of the trip means we can’t do it every year,” said the 35-year-old prop.
“Although it was great, I don’t think that trip alone was the reason we did well last year.
“We’ll have a good week in Tenerife when we fly out on Monday and hopefully we’ll have another good season.
“It is still a little bit raw and although we were hugely disappointed after losing the Grand Final to Leeds, looking at last season as a whole was a tremendously successful campaign.
“We feel we had the team to beat Leeds and we weren’t outclassed. It’ll give us a bit of desire and inspiration to go one better this time.”
Fellow packman Mike Cooper, who had a rousing finale to Super League XVII, is itching to swap the muddy field of Wolves’ Padgate training centre for the sunshine of the Canary island.
The 24-year-old is hoping for a change of tack after a fitness-heavy start to pre-season.
“It has been as hard as always, a tough start to pre-season for a few weeks and now we are hitting the hardest part of it,” he said.
“Going to Tenerife offers us a chance to do more skills stuff as the weather here won’t really allow you to get much of that done.
“There we can get out on the pitches twice a day, which is what we need right now after some tough fitness sessions.”
The return from Tenerife will lead Wolves nicely into their second and final pre-season friendly, the Ben Westwood Testimonial clash with Wigan Warriors at The Halliwell Jones Stadium on Saturday, January 26, before the season starts in earnest eight days later at home to Castleford Tigers.
And if all goes according to plan, Smith will have the difficult task of selecting his first Super League squad of the season from an almost fully fit contingent of players.
Only Simon Grix (elbow operation) and Tyrone McCarthy (shoulder) are likely to miss Wolves’ opener as it stands, but Smith has no intentions of rushing anyone back from rehabilitation so early in the year.
“We’ll be going into the season a little bit underdone, but hopefully we won’t be too far off being completely fit and healthy,” he said.
“Simon Grix and Tyrone McCarthy may be pushing it to return for that game, they are in the final stages of the rehab at the moment.
“They may yet be given the green light for the first game but sometimes with rehab, though players are able to do most of the training, if they are put under the tension and stress of Super League their injury can worsen.
“If we want to err on the side of caution, in round one, we can do that.”
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