WITH the opening round of the Super League season being pushed back, clubs now have an extra fortnight to fine-tune their preparations.

To maximise the chances of starting the season with supporters in attendance, it was agreed the start date for the 2021 campaign would be moved to March 25.

> More on the thinking behind Super League 2021's new start date here

They now have a different date to aim for, so how has that changed Warrington Wolves’ plans?

“For these first few weeks, we will stick with our plan of getting that base in everyone’s legs,” head of performance Ade Gardner said.

“What we will probably do now though is give everyone a few extra days off.

“Usually, we would have a pre-season block of working them really hard for five or six weeks before Christmas before having 12 days off, but obviously we won’t get that this time.

“We’ll get this running base into them then taper it down, give them time to rest and recover before building them back up again.”

Warrington Guardian: Head of performance Ade Gardner, right, with head coach Steve Price. Picture by Mike BodenHead of performance Ade Gardner, right, with head coach Steve Price. Picture by Mike Boden

The Wire squad are now entering their second full week of pre-season training having been off since their 2020 season ended on November 12.

Despite the country being back in lockdown to combat escalating Covid infection rates, elite sport has been given an exemption to carry on training and playing matches.

“They came back in really well and have surpassed a lot of my expectations,” Gardner said.

“A lot of the boys have really impressed with their running and conditioning, so we’re really happy with where they are.

“The trick now is not to overreach them and push them to where we start seeing injuries.

“It’s going to be pretty similar to most pre-seasons.

“We started with some testing and conducted all of that over a couple of days. That has been a little different this year as we usually incorporate that over a week or so.

“We’re really happy with how they came back and so far, there’s been a lot of running and small-sided games.

“We’ll start to develop that as we move forward through the weeks as well as progressing our speed development.

“As we move on then as usual, the coaches will get more and more involved and the S&C (strength and conditioning) provisionals will get less.”

Warrington Guardian: Joe Philbin during pre-season training. Picture by Warrington WolvesJoe Philbin during pre-season training. Picture by Warrington Wolves