ONE of the plus points of Warrington Wolves' 2020 campaign has been the emergence of some of the club's young talent.

Five graduates of the club's academy made their first-team debuts this season plus the likes of Josh Thewlis and Riley Dean got more senior appearances under their belts.

A young and inexperienced Wire side performed admirably in a Super League fixture against Salford Red Devils in September, racing into an 18-0 lead before a late Krisnan Inu penalty consigned them to a 20-18 defeat.

The next step now is for those players to challenge for a more regular spot in the first team.

Chief executive Karl Fitzpatrick admits the club have been guilty of not giving academy products the chance to shine in the past but he says the current crop are ready to buck the trend.

"Some will be ready, some won’t. They all develop and mature at different rates," he said.

"I think we have been guilty in the past of not giving kids opportunities.

"To counter that, there is an argument to say those kids haven’t earned it or haven’t been good enough.

"This crop coming through now are good enough and it’s very exciting.

"A real plus point of this season has been the emergence of that young talent and some of them are ready to be pushing for a regular spot in that 17."

Warrington Guardian: Riley Dean is among the talented young players on the fringes of the Wire first team. Picture by Mike BodenRiley Dean is among the talented young players on the fringes of the Wire first team. Picture by Mike Boden

One player, however, who will not be following several of his teammates into the Wire first-grade side is hooker George Roby.

He was named in the England Academy training squad earlier this year alongside Wire teammates Thewlis, Dean Beddall, Luke Broadbent, Jacob Gannon, Ellis Longstaff and Connor Wrench.

However, the Crosfields junior and former Beamonth Collegiate Academy has joined Super League rivals Huddersfield Giants on a two-year deal.

It was a move that led some fans to question the club's commitment to bringing Warrington-born players through their system, but Fitzpatrick defended the decision to allow 18-year-old Roby to move on.

"We are doing all we can to develop Warrington-born players," he said.

"We’re doing a lot of work in the community and there’s a lot of fantastic players coming through from Warrington.

"However, we thought it was the right decision to allow George to move on looking at our succession planning, which we do from first-grade right down to under 15s and sometimes below that.

"There is a young hooker behind George called Denive Balmforth who is very highly-rated and has a fantastic attitude and work rate.

"We’re very comfortable with the decision."

Warrington Guardian: George Roby has joined Huddersfield Giants. Picture by SWPix.comGeorge Roby has joined Huddersfield Giants. Picture by