STEVE Price has rated the current pre-season campaign as “critical” for Luther Burrell.

The England rugby union international switched codes to join The Wire midway through last season.

After playing league as a child, he had spent his entire professional career in the 15-man game with Leeds and Northampton Saints.

Burrell played three times for Warrington after making the switch and naturally looked as if he was still getting to grips with the sport.

With a full winter of work under his belt, however, Price is expecting big things as he looks for the 32-year-old to make more of an impression on the first team in 2020.

Price also confirmed he was still looking at Burrell as an option in both the centres and the second row.

“This pre-season is critical for Luther,” he said.

“He’s dropped a fair amount of weight and he’s at the kind of weight we want him at. He’s lost about six kilos and tightened his frame up.

“It’s a level he needs to be at to play rugby league with the different dynamics and greater amount of space.

“He’s in a really good place and he’s understanding our systems and philosophies so much better than last year.

“We’re still looking at him as a centre or back row option. He’s training at the moment in those positions.

“It looks like we might see some quality football from Luther.”

As well as Burrell, four of The Wire’s five new signings have been hard at work since the squad returned to their Padgate training base for pre-season.

While marquee addition Gareth Widdop will not report back until the new year, Anthony Gelling, Keanan Brand, Matty Ashton and Samy Kibula have all been with their new teammates for a number of weeks.

Price is pleased with what the quartet have brought to the group.

“I’m really pleased with where Matty Ashton is at the moment,” he said.

“He’s flying in training and his attention to detail in all aspects has stood him in really good stead.

“Keanan Brand has been first-class also and Anthony Gelling has been in the top three in all our metric data.

“He is a seasoned pro so that is the kind of thing we expect from him.

“I’m happy with how they’re all coming along.”