NEW SIGNING Craig Kopczak is happy to have made friends with Wakefield Trinity’s “massive” pack.
The Bradford-born Wales international is a high-profile recruit for Trinity and has been brought in to boost their chances of moving up into Betfred Super League’s top four next year.
He reckons he has joined a club who are firmly on the up, but admitted part of the attraction is not having to play against Trinity’s fearsome forwards any more.
Kopczak will add his size and experience to an impressive prop rotation which already includes David Fifita, Anthony England, Pauli Pauli, Craig Huby and Keegan Hirst, alongside back-rowers of the quality of Danny Kirmond, Justin Horo, Tinirau Arona and fellow new arrival George King.
“It’s a massive pack,” Kopczak observed.
“I didn’t want to be tackling them any more – I would rather be playing with them!
“It is a huge pack to play with and it’s going to be good having the likes of Broughy [Danny Brough], with his kicking game, playing behind them.”
Signing for Wakefield is a return to West Yorkshire for Kopczak who played with Bradford Bulls and Huddersfield Giants before joining Salford in 2016.
“It has been great, a fresh start is always good for you,” he said of his change of clubs.
“Everyone has been really great to me, the lads have been great to accept me into the group.
“Training has been really tough, which you’d expect with it being pre-season, but really enjoyable at the same time.”
Kopczak is one of four additions to the Trinity team which finished fifth in Super League last term and he believes he is in the right environment to regain his best form.
“I needed a change, just for my career going forward,” he added. “I thought my rugby wasn’t its best, I think I can provide a lot more at Wakefield and it’s a good club to be at.
“They finished the last two seasons in fifth spot and adding myself and Broughy and a few others they want to push for even higher.
“I know every team has recruited quite strongly, but why not? Nobody seems to take Wakefield quite seriously, to be honest.
“They seem to go under the radar which is good.
“Everyone seems to focus on teams like Wigan and Saints, but if we can keep knocking wins off hopefully we can achieve great things.”
Kopczak was getting a first opportunity to show what he can do in Trinity colours in today’s Wetherby Whaler Festive Challenge at Leeds Rhinos.
The real business begins away to newly-promoted London Broncos on Sunday, February 3, but Kopczak admitted he is ready to dust his boots off and get back into action.
“I want to get out there,” he admitted of today’s pre-season opener.
“You don’t want to be training any more.
“I haven’t done a Boxing Day for a while so it will be quite interesting to see how it goes.
“I am looking forward to getting out there and putting on a bit of a show.”
Kopczak, who turned 32 last Thursday, has signed a one-year contract, but hopes that will be extended if all goes well this season.
He said: “I am looking after my body and if you look at people these days they are going on to 36 or 37.
“I am looking to hopefully play to around that mark.”