IN his new role as The Wire’s head of performance, Ade Gardner says he will not be starting everything at the club from scratch.

Quite the contrary, in fact, as he says his main focus will be to build on the work done by his predecessor Jon Clarke.

With Clarke leaving the club with whom he had a 14-year association in playing and non-playing capacities, Gardner has big shoes to fill.

However, the former St Helens winger says there is no need to change too much as his philosophies are similar to those of Clarke.

“JC was similar to myself in that he was an ex-player coming into this role,” he said.

“An opportunity has come up for him and it’s probably a once-in-a-lifetime one to move to England rugby union.

“How he’s gone about things here is really smart and he’s had a really good team with him here. I’ve had plenty of productive conversations with him on stuff.

“It’s good to speak to other people in the trade if you can and share ideas. I’ll probably end up connecting a lot with JC for the rest of my career.

“Jon kept on talking about advancing and building on the solid foundations we have here.

“All the boys are really familiar with the fundamentals, but now I just want to build on that and implement some of the methods I like using within my practice.

“Injury prevention is a massive thing and Warrington did a lot more on that this year compared to 2017, which I hear was a pretty bad year for injuries.

“From a strength and conditioning point of view, it is mainly about performance but a lot of it is keeping blokes on the field.”

Gardner, 35, joins having been an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Saints since his retirement from playing in 2014.

He says he has been looking to step up to a more senior role for a while, and says he “could not have asked” for a better club to step up at.

“I made my decision to go into the strength and conditioning side of the game eight or nine years ago. The goal from then was always to become a head of strength and conditioning somewhere,” he said.

“Saints have a fantastic man in that role in Matt Daniels, who I’ve learned a lot from in the past four or five years.

“The opportunity to get promoted within the club wasn’t going to be there.

“This chance came up late in the season, and it’s a perfect fit.

“There’s no moving away from home or long commutes, plus it’s a cracking squad we have here.

“You walk in the place and all the toys are there.

“We’ve got the indoor facility, the training pitch has been completely refurbed over the summer and that’s ready now as well.

“You couldn’t ask for a better club in Super League to fall into at the moment.”