Monaghan honoured to lead out Wolves

Warrington Wolves' Joel Monaghan.
Warrington Wolves' Joel Monaghan.
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Former Australia winger Joel Monaghan will be a proud man when he leads Warrington out against his fellow countrymen for the opening game of the new World Club Series.

The Wolves kick off the expanded tournament, billed as Super League versus the NRL, against St George Illawarra at the Halliwell Jones Stadium tonight.

Brisbane go to Wigan tomorrow before South Sydney take on St Helens in Sunday’s clash of the champions and Monaghan says the Super League rivals will be united by a common aim.

“The three English teams week-to-week don’t like each other at all, but I think this weekend they will be hoping each other wins,” said Monaghan, who has taken over the captaincy from older brother Michael and England second-row Ben Westwood.

“It’s a massive honour to be captain, especially for a concept like this. We want to kick this off in style by going out in front of a packed house and doing a job. But we’re under no illusions, they are three quality NRL sides there.”

Most interest in the Dragons team will centre on Kiwi half-back Benji Marshall and England stand-off Gareth Widdop, but Monaghan is wary of his ex-Canberra team-mate Josh Dugan, too.

He is being tipped to secure the New South Wales full-back spot for this year’s State of Origin series following the departure of Jarryd Hayne.

“He’s a real good mate,” said Monaghan.

“He grew up 10 minutes from where I grew up and I watched him come up from the age of 15 at the Raiders.

“He’s a special player. On his day there is no better full-back with the ball in his hands.

“He’ll be a tough one to handle and, with Gareth Widdop and Benji Marshall, they’re the three main dangers.”