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Monaghan brothers among 11 Warrington Wolves players with new deals
CONTRACT extensions for 11 of Wolves’ full-time players is a huge step towards cementing a permanent place at the top of the Super League ladder, according to coach Tony Smith.
Joel and Michael Monaghan, Ryan Atkins, Simon Grix, Ben Harrison, Glenn Riley, Chris Riley, Micky Higham, Paul Wood, Ryan Shaw and Danny Bridge have all put pen to paper on new deals, preparing Wolves for a continued assault on the Super League title that has so far eluded them.
“I’m delighted that we are able to stay stable as a club and that is a big thing for me,” said Smith.
“We’ll have a few new faces next year, but it is pretty much about keeping a successful squad going.
“We have come up with the greatest number of consecutive league wins in our history at the moment, and if you look at this stage of the season for the past three years, we have been second each time with a similar number of points.
“That also shows consistency, and it shows that our side have developed the necessary mental strength to be one of the competition’s top teams.
“It was not that long ago that we did not have that.”
Perhaps one of the most promising signs from this slew of new contracts is Wolves’ ability to fend off interest from Super League rivals and NRL clubs for some of their biggest names, most notably Joel Monaghan.
The prolific winger has been a revelation since his arrival at The Halliwell Jones Stadium in 2011, scoring 84 tries in 81 appearances, and has been attracting building interest in the NRL.
Not since Brian Bevan have Wolves had such a lethal Australian on the wing, though his world record of 740 tries in 620 games is beyond even Monaghan’s wildest dreams.
“I could get there, if I play until I’m 60!” joked the former Canberra Raider.
“With the team we have got and the success we have had, I never even contemplated going anywhere else.
“I have had a few options to go back home, but I am happy where I am and I just hope we can keep this team together and continue pushing for success.
“The style we play and the team we have got means I’ve never enjoyed my footy more than I have here, it was a no brainer.”
Smith agrees that Monaghan’s new contract, which extends his current deal by two years to the end of the 2016 season, is a huge coup for the club.
“It is enormous,” he said.
“Joel has to be one of the best Australian imports we have seen in Super League for a while.
“His contribution to the points tally, but also to the team both on and off the field has been huge.
“He is a class act and whether you are a Warrington fan or not, you have to admit that he is one of the best Aussie signings for years.”
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