WAKEFIELD Trinity Wildcats head coach John Kear admits that his players are desperate to get out onto the pitch and start their Super League XVI season.
Wakefield take on local rivals Castleford Tigers at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, on Saturday in the first game of the season and it is an occasion that Kear is relishing.
He said: “I am really excited. It’s been a long wait and it’s all been building up to Saturday.
“The off-field problems have been well documented but now it’s all about Wakefield playing rugby league.”
And the players are equally excited by the game, as Kear explained: “This week we have been holding them back to tell you the truth because they just want to get out there and play.
“You can sense that there is a lot of excitement, urgency, anticipation and a bit of nervousness as well.”
Kear has been impressed by the Tigers in pre-season and he recognises that his team will have to be at their best to get a result. He said: “It is a great challenge for us. Looking at how Castleford played against Hull FC [in pre-season], they were very impressive and came together very well as a unit.
“The Danny Orr - Rangi Chase half-back pairing was very good. Richie Mathers used the ball well, Ryan Hudson was a handful and Nick Youngquest has added something on the wing.”
Ben Jeffries will miss the Tigers’ clash due to a knee injury and winger Kevin Penny has not been selected.
Kear said: “With regard to Kevin, we have explained to him why we have gone with the team we have got. He has accepted that and of course he is disappointed but he understands what he needs to do to get in to the team.”
Read today’s Wakefield Express for more news from the Wakefield Wildcats.