WARRINGTON Wolves’ middle-unit absentees look set to mean another big shift is required from Jordy Crowther.

However, he insists he would not have it any other way.

The Wire head to St Helens for tomorrow’s Challenge Cup quarter-final without the services of both Paul Vaughan and Zane Musgrove through suspension and injury respectively.

Add to that the concerns surrounding Ben Currie, who is rated as extremely doubtful with a pectoral injury, and it makes for a stretched group even though Joe Philbin does return from concussion protocol.

That is how it was against Leeds Rhinos last time out, however, as Crowther played for more than an hour in the front row to help The Wire to an impressive 34-8 win.

If the same is asked of him again, the former Wakefield Trinity man says he is more than happy to put his hand up.

Warrington Guardian: A hooker or loose forward by trade, Jordy Crowther played for more than an hour in the front row against Leeds RhinosA hooker or loose forward by trade, Jordy Crowther played for more than an hour in the front row against Leeds Rhinos (Image: SWPix.com)

“I’m expecting another big shift in that middle but I love it – I enjoy doing the hard work for the team and I think they appreciate it too. That’s when I know I’m doing my job,” he said.

“There’s not much difference between prop and loose, I find.

“The skill level a lot of the middles have now has drastically improved, even from when I started in 2014.

“A lot of teams have that ball-playing middle now – we’ve seen Ben Currie come into that role for us and he’s thrived on it.

“That’s pushed me more towards that front row but I don’t mind that. I like doing all of the tough stuff, whether it’s carrying off the back line from a kick off or flying out of the line.

“We did get written off as a middle unit last week, especially when that squad was announced.

“I can imagine there were a few people saying we were going to get beat so for us to put that performance in has given us confidence.

“With how the game’s going and how intense it is, you’re going to get injuries and bans and we’ve seen that already this year.

“It’s a “next man up” job and everyone is raring to go and ready to step in when the time comes.”

Crowther may once again start in the front row alongside James Harrison, whose display at Headingley saw him earn three Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel points.

The two Yorkshiremen travel into training together from their native county and Crowther has taken great pride in Harrison’s growth.

“The voice he has is something that’s gradually been increasing this year. Everyone rates what he does and the kind of person he is really highly,” the 27-year-old said.

“He’s a great bloke – we travel over from Yorkshire together every morning and we have some good chats in that car. We’ve grown really close because of that.

“With him coming from the Championship, he’s done his hard yards because it’s a tough gig in the middle in that league.

“You can see from how he carries the ball that he’s a grafter and that’s what teammates appreciate.

“You can have all the superstars you want in a team but you need grafters as well, and he’s one of them.”

Warrington Guardian: Crowther and James Harrison tackle Leeds' Harry NewmanCrowther and James Harrison tackle Leeds' Harry Newman (Image: SWPix.com)

After joining from Wakefield on an initial short-term deal last July, Crowther ended up featuring in two matches against St Helens towards the end of 2023 before his move was made permanent.

He started both games – an 18-6 Super League loss at The Halliwell Jones Stadium and the 16-8 play-off defeat away from home – at loose forward and says the battle against a fearsome Saints side is one he relishes.

“They’re very tough and aggressive,” he said.

“With and without the ball, they’re very direct so we’re going to get tested a lot in that middle area.

“I’ve always loved playing in these big games – it’s what you play rugby for.

“I loved the play-off game there last year – the atmosphere was class – and hopefully we can get one over on them.

“They’ve had a few different coaches but they always retain that aggression with some big bodies in the middle.

“You know what they’re going to do but it’s a very tough job trying to stop it.

“They’ve been pipped a couple of times, so maybe people are realising that they’re only human. Anyone can beat anyone on the day.

“We know we’re a good team but we know we have to go there and match – if not better – their intensity.

“We’ve got skill and points in us, but going there and defending it well will be key.”

Warrington Guardian: Crowther featured against St Helens twice after joining Warrington last JulyCrowther featured against St Helens twice after joining Warrington last July (Image: SWPix.com)