Captain’s Column: We’re ready and raring for a return to Super League action against Leeds Rhinos


It seems like a while since our last match against Widnes Vikings and we’re all eager to get back out on the pitch against Leeds Rhinos on Friday night.

We’d have rather played last weekend given the form we’re in at the moment, and obviously we’d have liked to have been in the Challenge Cup, but it wasn’t too bad to have a week off at this stage.

We had some time off last week before returning to full training and it allowed everyone to freshen up ahead of what’s a big game for us at Headingley.

Obviously that weekend off will have allowed Leeds to get some players back too, they have a few injuries of their own, so it’s all set-up to be a great game.

We’re both teams that like to play attacking, entertaining rugby and the conditions we’re having at the moment should mean it’s a good one for the fans.

It’s a big one for us to keep in touch with the top-eight and it’s a game that we’re looking forward to.

It’s going to be tough, there’s no doubt about that, but these are the games you want to play in as a player.

There will be a big, vocal and hostile crowd at Headingley like there always is and all the boys are looking forward to playing in it.

Even though they ended up running away with the play-off game last season we were involved in some close games with them all year.

The victory over them last year almost acted as a catalyst for the rest of the season, it gave us the confidence that we could go and beat anyone, and hopefully this can do the same for us.

It’s great to see Bobbie Goulding and Kyle Trout getting in the 19-man squad because I, like a lot of the boys, keep an eye on how our dual registration lads are getting on and they’ve both been doing really well.

The weather has been great and I think it’s the first time I’ve seen Justin Poore smiling! Dean Collis has been out too instead of hiding away in the physio room so you know the sun is out.

There was a bit of banter earlier in the week after we won the first Ashes Test. Poorey thought the Aussies were going to do it on the last day but Martin Clawson, our strength and conditioner, made sure he came in to the recovery session in a cricket top to rub it in.

It hasn’t been a great few days for Justin because he was supporting New South Wales in the State of Origin match and they lost too on Wednesday.

A lot of the boys watched it and when a streaker ran on the pitch towards the end of the match they all thought it was Ali!