IT is the view of many observers that Warrington Wolves' recruitment policy has left plenty to be desired in recent years.

Of course, there have been success stories over the past couple of years – Paul Vaughan, for example, restored many supporters' faith in the kind of players the club bring in from overseas while George Williams, Matty Nicholson and James Harrison are among the good pieces of business done during the Daryl Powell era.

However, you then look at how signings such as Josh McGuire and Billy Magoulias have turned out plus the fact the jury is still out among plenty of others, and it puts such a key area under somewhat of a microscope.

Now, the responsibility for identifying and signing the right players falls upon former interim head coach Gary Chambers in his newly-created director of rugby role as he works alongside new head coach Sam Burgess.

And in a certain respect, the pair are demonstrating a clear change of approach.

Although two of the incomings – Newcastle Knights second rower Lachlan Fitzgibbon and Hull FC hooker Brad Dwyer – were completed under Powell's watch, they fit in with the theory that Warrington are making an effort to lower the age profile of the players they bring into the club.

The exception would be the reported move for Wigan Warriors hooker Sam Powell, who would be the oldest new signing at 31 years of age.

Warrington Guardian: Wigan hooker Sam Powell is understood to be close to joining The Wire for 2024Wigan hooker Sam Powell is understood to be close to joining The Wire for 2024 (Image:

Dwyer (30) and Fitzgibbon (29) are the next oldest in terms of the age they will be when the 2024 campaign starts as they arrive alongside Rodrick Tai (25), Zane Musgrove (27) and Wesley Bruines (20).

That means the average age of the club's new signings for 2024 is 26.2 – way down on the average age of 31 between 2023 recruits Vaughan, McGuire, Gil Dudson, Sam Kasiano, Josh Drinkwater and Matty Russell.

If a deal for Powell is completed, that figure would increase to exactly 27.

Jordan Crowther – a Powell signing but one turned into a long-term deal after his departure – will be 26 when next season starts while returning centre Toby King will be 27.

That said, the post-season movement has not had a noticeable impact on the squad's average age, which was 25.89 among players who played first-team games in 2023.

Indeed, it rises to 26.24 among the current 2024 first-team squad, which would rise to 26.4 if Powell joins, although questions remain around the futures of Gil Dudson and Sam Kasiano, two of the older members of the squad.

Still, the close-season business could be seen to represent a shift in mentality towards bringing younger players into their squad.

Of course, the pursuit of as high-calibre talent as possible will no doubt continue as they fight for a seat at the top table, but Chambers and Burgess appear to be trying to build a core squad than can be together for many a year.