Well just over a week to go until we get back on the field. It feels like a lifetime ago we were lifting the trophy at Old Trafford, but now we’re so close to starting a new season there’s so much excitement around the training ground.
On the whole, pre-season wasn’t too bad. The result of the Leigh game was a bit disappointing, but there were a lot of good things that came from some younger lads getting some time on the pitch and some of the players coming back from injuries got a bit of a run out. Then we headed to Catalans and that was a much more positive, we played the strongest team we could at that time and we got the result.
The new season is just around the corner and we can’t wait to get back out there. We’re kicking things off on the road at Salford, and of course we want to start with a win. We’ve got a lot of people coming back from injuries that caused some problems last year, including myself, and that can only serve us well, to have options.
Joe Burgess is coming back into the squad, and even though he’s only young he’s learnt so much since he went to Australia. Tommy (Leuluai) as well, he’s so experienced and he was at Wigan for a long time when he was first here so he knows what it’s all about.
I think it’s going to be a great season all round, a lot of teams have recruited well, particularly those who maybe struggled last year. Leigh have come up now too and look like they’re ready to give it a good go. I can only see the competition getting stronger really and it’s good for our sport.
On a personal level, I can’t wait to get back into the swing of it now. I was expecting to be back last year in the Super 8s, and then to be told I wouldn’t be able to do that was a big blow, but I’m over that now and I just want to improve, keep playing the game and help my team out as best as I can. I’ve just got a niggling problem at the moment but once that’s cleared I should be back in no time.
A big thing for us is that we have the World Club Challenge coming up too. It’s such a huge deal for us and for our league. To be the best team in the World, it’s something that any team would dream of saying. Everyone compares Super League and the NRL, so it’s great to be able to compete in these games and show the World that we can compete. This will be my third game against an NRL team, and Wigan’s third attempt on the bounce, we’re gutted that we’ve not managed to get the win these last few years but we’re ready to give it a good go on the 19th of February.
It’s Cronulla’s first time in this game, but they won the Premiership last year, so they’re obviously a top side and we want to give them a good game. It’s a different climate for them too, but we can’t underestimate their game.
Waney loves winning silverware, it’s what he does best and he’s talked about it a lot, he really wants to win this one, we all do. To be able to pick up a trophy in week two of the season would be massive, so hopefully we can do that.
See you soon,