Josh Charnley is hoping for a big year with Warrington and England (Image: Mark Cosgrove/News Images)

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Josh Charnley is hoping to help Warrington build a trophy-winning campaign – after spending his close season on a construction site.

The experienced winger is a qualified bricklayer and used six weeks of the winter to continue his preparation for life after rugby. Not 30 until next month, he’s hoping there is still plenty of try scoring left in his legs first – but admits he enjoyed a glimpse at life off the pitch.

“I’ve got a bricklaying qualification and I did a bit in the off season this year to keep my hand in it,” Charnley explained. “I’ll probably be a full-time bricky when I finish.

“It’s totally different from rugby league, but on site it was fun and enjoyable. There’s no chance of me getting called up again before a match though – there’s stuff I need to do on my own house first.”

Charnley touches down in the recent Super League win over Hull KR
(Image: Stephen Gaunt/Focus Images Ltd)

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Warrington’s season hasn’t exactly been built on rock solid foundations after a second defeat of the campaign at home to Huddersfield on Monday, as fans returned to the Halliwell Jones Stadium. The Wolves trailed 0-20 at the break before a stirring second half display saw them fall just short.

Charnley said: “Having the fans back was good. We spoken about it in the changing rooms before and said not to lose our head, but when we got out there I think the lads panicked a bit and it affected us in that first half.

“I’ve never seen us play as bad, everything was rushed, it just wasn’t the way we go about ourselves and the club. When you run out there’s usually a bit of chanting and clapping, but on Monday the 4,000 there made a racket.

“We sat down and spoke about it and second half we knew we could score points and how good our attack is, and we proved how lethal we are. If we rectify that first half it would have been a different ball game. We can learn a lot from things like that.

Charnley in full flight against Toronto Wolfpack last season
(Image: Richard Long/News Images)

“Warrington is a hard working town and they want that in their rugby team. On Monday we let everyone down in the first half but in the second half we showed what we can do.”

On a personal level, Charnley is hoping to regain his place in Shaun Wane’s England squad before the World Cup this autumn. He was included in Wane’s early training groups last year before being one of seven to drop out in November. His former coach left him clear on areas that he needs to improve on.

Charnley said: “If he’s got an issue with you he won’t beat around the bush with you, he’ll tell you straight up and that’s what you want in a coach. I’ve had Waney for most of my career through academy, reserves and first team at Wigan, and he knows what he wants. If you’re not pulling your weight, he’s not bothered who you are, he just gets rid.

“I wasn’t scoring enough tries last year – I think I scored three all season. My job as a winger is to score tries, and I wasn’t getting the ball, and wasn’t performing as a winger. I was taking more carries up the middle and trying to get the ball forward for the boys, but when we come to good ball I wasn’t having the opportunity to score tries.

“I’m just trying to progress in myself. I’ve not had a pre-season for three years, I’ve had operations or little niggles every pre-season, so I’ve not had one where I can get myself game ready and game fit. The first two weeks of the season I was nowhere near myself and performance, but slowly I’m building back into it and finally crossed the whitewash with two tries. I’m starting to pick up.”

Charnley says an innovative sports garment aided his recovery from a shoulder operation

Charnley’s preparations for this season were disrupted by a January shoulder operation, but he says his recovery was accelerated by using an innovative garment made by Hytro that uses blood flow restriction technology. It allowed him to start low weight exercises early in his rehabilitation, driving muscle growth and speeding up recovery.

Charnley said: “Within a week of the operation I started wearing it and doing exercises, starting on 5kg dumbbells – but when you’re using this, it feels like you’re pushing 40kgs. Still to this day it’s part of my programme and a few of the boys have bought one since. I didn’t want to lose size, and within three weeks I was back up to my usual size and more.”

The next test of Charnley’s recovery comes against a Castleford Tigers side coached by the man who will take over from Steve Price at Warrington next season, Daryl Powell. Charnley has yet to meet his next boss since the announcement that he will move over the Pennines later this year.

He added: “I don’t think that’d be right because we still have our loyalties with Pricey and want to send him off on a good note. We’ve got to get the job done this year before he takes over. Daryl’s done a really good job with Cas. Having players like Paul McShane – he’s turned another screw and stepped up another level – has been good for Powelly

“He’s getting better with age and is one of those players when they come up on the teamsheet you’ll know he’ll be a dangerous threat.”

Josh Charnley is an advocate of Hytro, the leader in Performance TechWear, integrated with blood flow restriction technology, or BFR, proven to drive muscle growth, improve performance and rapidly speed up recovery