WOLVES centre Toby King has been answering fans’ questions this week.

Here, he discusses life at Warrington Wolves, the build-up to the semi finals, the pending departure from the club of his brother George and even his favourite pre-match meal.

OTHER Q&As: Tom Lineham, Jack Johnson, Chris Hill


Dave Evans:

Going from second-placed Wigan as your opponents last week to League Leaders’ Shield winners Saints this week, are these games the dead rubbers people have mentioned or are they perfect preparation for the semi-final?

Toby: When I play in a game I never treat it as a dead rubber. Against Wigan, it still had that buzz for ‘derby’ week. We like to get wins against them and it was 2-2 in matches against them this year.

Warrington Guardian:

Pictures: Mike Boden

Coming to this week’s game against Saints, we’re definitely not treating this as a dead rubber.

We’ve got the semi finals coming up so it’s a good rehearsal for that.

Saints bring a lot of fans so it’s a great atmosphere and we like to make a big occasion of it.

I can see why the fans say about ‘dead rubbers’ due to positions set (on the league table) but it’s still ‘derby’ week at the end of the day.

Warrington Casuals: Who would you rather play in the play off semi finals if you had a choice, Saints or Wigan?

Toby: I wouldn’t be bothered if it’s Saints or Wigan. We’ve still got a chance of playing either, if we win our last two games and Castleford lose both of theirs.

Any team are good on the day – Saints have just picked up the League Leaders’ Shield, while Wigan are in form and a tough side to beat. We’ll back ourselves against anybody on our day.

Warrington Guardian:

Knoxywire: With semi final places guaranteed how do you and the team prepare for the crucial run up to the semis?

Toby: I think that’s a lot down to our performance staff, who have been great this year – like Jon Clark, Nick, all the physios. They just have to look after us after training and we get a couple of days off now and again to recover. It’s about taking things day by day and when lads are sore perhaps drop a few out. We rested a few against Wigan and it might end up being the case this week or next just to make sure we are fully fit for the semis.

Alan Drinkwater: Can you see us winning the Grand Final?

Toby: It’s always our year! Definitely. When we’re on, we’re really good so we just need to make sure coming into these next two games that we’re preparing well and ready to be firing because when we’re playing well we’re good enough to win a Grand Final.

Debbie Thompson: What’s it been like the last few games playing second row instead of centre?

Toby: It’s a lot tougher! I’ve been a lot more sore after games. It’s probably been good for me to find out how forwards cope in a game and it will only make me better, if I’m playing in the centres, to be getting match fit in the back row. I definitely consider myself a centre and I’d like to return there sometime but I’ll do a job there for the team while we’re struggling.

Warrington Guardian:

Pauline Jones: After Wembley disappointment, what would it mean to you to get to the Grand Final especially while George is still here?

Toby: It would mean the world to me. It’s our last year together. We spoke about it at Wembley and what it would mean to us to win that. We didn’t get to do it so it was absolutely heartbreaking, not just for me but the family as well because they had turned up in numbers.

Warrington Guardian:

Warrington Guardian:

To bow out with a Grand Final win would be a dream come true, having played together on Meltham Rec (Huddersfield) as kids to go and do it at Old Trafford where we’ve been as supporters for years would be a massive occasion for the family.

Adam Hanglin: Obviously your brother moves to Wakefield at the end of the season do you see yourself staying at Wire ?

Toby: Yes, I’m all contracted up for next year at Warrington. It’s going to be sad seeing him go, I’ll miss playing with him. We get to run out on the field together, train together, travel together, so it’s going to be sad but my heart’s at Warrington.

Warrington Guardian:

Callum Insull: How do you think you’ll cope playing without your brother in the team with you, or will you not let that distract you?

Toby: I’ll probably just look forward more to the Wakefield fixture so that we can play against each other. It will be tough because we’ve always got each other’s back in training. He’s the first person I’ll speak to if something’s up, and the same the other way round for him. I’m not writing off playing together again one day.

Ryan Matthews: You seem to have hit it off with Josh Charnley, what’s it like playing alongside him?

Toby: Josh is a great player and I think he’s been one of our best signings this year. He’s come here and shown us what he can do with his finishing. Not only that, but the stuff he does for the team with his yardage carries.

Warrington Guardian:

It’s been a pleasure to work alongside him. Feed him the ball from anywhere and he can finish it. I’d like to continue working on that relationship with Josh over the next few years and I’d like to see it flourish.

Jenna Moore: Which teammate do you get on with the most?

Toby: While my brother’s here, I’ll have to say George. We are brothers aren’t we, and I spend most of my time with him with us having a close relationship. But generally we’re a really close team and I get on with everyone.

Jenna Moore: Which teammate has the weirdest habit and what is it?

Toby: There’s a few with weird stuff before games, like having to put the left boot on before the right. Having said that, I do that myself sometimes. I’d probably have to say Tom Lineham and his mannequin called Cynthia. When I stay at his house I have to sleep in the same room as the mannequin and every time I turn the light on it scares me.

Megan Willington: Who has been your favourite player to play alongside?

Toby: I love playing alongside everyone, but it’s a tough question. I’d have to say my brother though because not everybody gets the chance to play alongside their brother.

Megan Willington: Which team do you enjoy playing against the most?

Toby: My hometown club Huddersfield. It’s always a special occasion. I’d played for them at academy level, and I’m born and bred in Huddersfield.

Ian Sewell: You have improved massively in the last twelve months, who has helped you the most.

Toby: All the performance staff. Steve Price has been really good with me, Lee Briers, Andrew Henderson. It was a big pre-season, they’ve taught me a lot and I’d say it’s paying off on the field.

Warrington Guardian:

Ian Fellows: Which coach / player has been most influential so far in your career?

Toby: I’ve had some great coaches. Steve Price has been massive for me, Tony Smith was really good. Steve has taught me a lot and probably thinks he’s still got a lot more to teach me, so I’ve got a lot more to improve on. My dad coached me until I was 16 and went into the academy. He’s probably following this and he’ll be upset if I don’t say him, so I’ll say my dad, Andrew King, who coached me from about seven-years-old when I started.

Ed Roberts: What’s been the reaction among the players to the change of format next season?

Toby: I think it’s a real positive for the game, we definitely needed a change. I think one up-one down is good for the game. I’d just say, I wish they’d mentioned it to the players and got an input from the players.

I still think there’s maybe too many fixtures, which takes its toll. If we play Wigan in the semi finals or the Grand Final, that’ll be the sixth time we’ve played them this year. It’s a really good format going forward, but

I definitely think a lot of players would like to have a say moving forward. We’ve got the players’ union up and running now so hopefully they can start putting a voice in for us.

Carole Watson: What has been your best memory of playing for Wire so far and why was is it your best memory?

Toby: Playing at Wembley with my brother, although we didn’t get the result, and also when we won the League Leaders’ Shield in Hull (2016) – that’s a really good memory, a special day and my first bit of silverware.

Warrington Guardian:

Warrington Casuals: What’s your favourite pre match meal?

Toby: Probably anything with pasta in it. I love a pasta dish, so probably spag bol. My mum makes it for me.

Bec Smalley: My four-year-old Harrison wants to tell you that he wants to be a rugby player and wants to play against ‘dirty wigan’ and ‘dirty Saints.’ And he wonders what age you started playing rugby?

Toby: Aw, bless him! I started at seven. So if he starts at the same age as me he hasn’t got far to go. Tell him he’ll love every minute of it and just enjoy it as a kid, put everything into it and then one day when you’re playing in the professional game you’ll see it’s the best thing you’ll ever do. Good luck to you and I hope you make it.