Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell reveals why he is moving to Warrington Wolves next season

AS RUGBY League shocks go, it was on a par with Wigan winning the Challenge Cup in the early 1990s, but speculation over Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell’s future was put to rest yesterday when Warrington Wolves confirmed he will join them on a three-year contract.

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com - 23/02/2021 - Rugby League - Betfred Super League - Castleford Training - The Mend-a-Hose Jungle, Castleford, England - Daryl Powell.

Powell had been linked with the big-spending Cheshire club since announcing last month he would be leaving Castleford at the end of this season.

Though he had insisted he was keeping an open mind on his next job, Warrington whose current coach Steve Price will depart when his contract expires this autumn, always seemed the most likely destination.

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“Warrington is an outstanding club with a rich history and the opportunity to coach the club from 2022 onwards is a very special one,” Powell said in a club statement issued yesterday.

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com - 28/03/2021 - Rugby League - Betfred Super League Round 1 - Castleford Tigers v Warrington Wolves - Emerald Headingley Stadium, Leeds, England - Cheyse Blair is tackled by Ben Currie & Jason Clark.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

There will be considerably more pressure on Powell at Warrington than he has experienced during almost eight years in charge of Castleford.

Appointed when they were struggling at the foot of Super League, in 2013, the former Leeds Rhinos player and coach guided Tigers to a Challenge Cup final the following season.

Three years after that, they finished 10 points clear at the top of the Super League table, only to lose to Leeds in the Grand Final.

Special club: Daryl Powell has greatly improved Castleford's fortunes, signing the likes of Peter Mata'utia, left, and Cheyse Blair. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWPix.com

Warrington have been regulars at Wembley over the past 12 seasons, winning the Cup four times and finishing as runners-up twice, but their last Championship success was in 1955.

A club with Warrington’s resources will be disappointed not to have achieved more than four Grand Final defeats, but Powell feels there is the potential to achieve something “special” with his new side.

“My coaching philosophy is to support players to achieve special things and I think everyone knows and can see what I like to do with my players and teams,” added the former Great Britain player.

“I feel like I’m moving from one special club to another.

“I think it’s important to get it out in the open now so I can focus on the year ahead and there’s certainty from both sides at this stage.

“Hopefully there’ll be an excitement at Warrington and an excitement at Castleford that I can finish off there in a really positive way this season.”

Castleford began their campaign with a 21-12 win over Warrington two weeks ago and have a 100 per cent record so far in 2021.

Wolves’ chairman Stuart Middleton said: “After the completion of a thorough process we believe Daryl is the best man to take the club forward in 2022 and beyond.”

He stated: “His coaching philosophy and the brand of rugby league he promotes is something that really appealed to us.

“The impact he has had at Castleford is very impressive, taking them from 12th to league leaders in four years in a playing manner that was unrivalled in Super League. His ability to improve players was also an attraction; under his guidance he has helped to develop three players into Men of Steel. We’ve got an exciting crop of youngsters emerging so we look forward to seeing how he helps shape and develop their game.”