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Warrington Wolves youngsters give coaches 'something to ponder'
WILLIE Poching said some of Wolves’ talented youngsters have given the coaches cause to ponder after their performances in the festive friendly against Widnes Vikings.
Seven players from last season’s under 19s academy squad gained their debut taste of first-team football in the 36-32 success at the Select Security Stadium.
Only three of the 22 men involved were older than 22 and Poching was impressed with the way the occasion was handled.
“I think the most pleasing thing with the young kids that played was that they didn’t just play well they did so by playing the Warrington style,” said the first-team coach.
“They enjoy throwing the ball around, chancing their arm and having a go. It’s great to see them ready to play the way this club likes to play.
“A few players set down a marker and that was one of the things they spoke about, something a lot of the players wanted to do.
“There was an opportunity for them to get the jump on a few people, a chance for them to stake a claim.
“There’s a lot more to come in terms of work over the course of this pre-season.
“There will be some more games in which they’ll get the chance to go again but there were a few who really put their hand up and gave us a few things to think about.”
He highlighted hooker Brad Dwyer and full back Matty Russell for stand-out displays.
Dwyer continues to have competition from 2013 player of the year Micky Higham and experienced campaigner Michael Monaghan for the dummy-half role.
The 20-year-old, who spent time on loan helping Huddersfield Giants win the League Leaders’ Shield last year, created two tries from short kicks against Widnes.
Poching said: “He kicked well, he defended well and got out of dummy half well like we know he does.
“He really kept himself busy. He was very good and really took his opportunity in this game.”
Scotland World Cup star Russell, aged 20, made his mark with a try in the fourth minute of his first game in primrose and blue before leaving the field in the 54th minute with a back spasm not considered to be a severe injury.
Poching said: “He showed some glimpses with the ball as to how dangerous he’s going to be for us. He was very good.”
Ben Currie (twisted knee) and Danny Bridge (ankle) were the other players taken out of the action as a precaution.
Five young players to have impressed the coaches during pre-season will join the top 24 full-time professionals on Tuesday’s flight to Australia for a three-week warm weather training camp.
The chosen five had not been named at the time of going to press.
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