The wait is finally over – the Betfred Super League and Championship start this weekend.
Warrington’s new look
The Wolves would like to forget about the 2017 campaign as soon as possible and will not be wanting to finish in the bottom four ever again. Steve Price has taken over as the Warrington head coach and has brought in five new players.
Utility-back Tyrone Roberts is Warrington’s marquee signing this year while Ben Murdoch-Masila could make a huge impact this year. Mitch Brown, Sitaleki Akauola and Bryson Goodwin are also very sensible signings.
Wigan’s competition for places
If the Warriors can have a relatively quiet season on the injury-front, then Shaun Wane will be very happy with the amount of options he has in the spine of his team.
He has got two top quality full-backs in Sam Tomkins and Morgan Escaré while they have got George Williams, Sam Powell and Jake Shorrocks vying for a spot in the halves. Tommy Leuluai and England Academy captian Josh Ganson are the hookers. A couple of the aforementioned players can play in several positions so it will be a healthy selection headache for Wane.
Barba after a full pre-season
Everyone knows just how much talent Ben Barba has got in his locker. He played a handful of games for St Helens towards the back end of last year after serving his 12-match suspension but didn’t set the league alight.
But he has a full pre-season under his belt and in a recent friendly against Leigh, he looked sharper than ever before. It’s no surprise that he is the favourite to pick up the Steve Prescott Man of Steel award. He could trouble Castleford this weekend.
Leigh ‘welcoming’ Toronto
Neil Jukes’ Leigh Centurions host Paul Rowley’s Toronto Wolfpack in the opening round of the Betfred Championship season on Sunday and even though it is the first game of the season – it could be the game of the year.
Both teams are wanting to gain promotion to Super League this year and with there being a good handful of ex-Leigh players in the Toronto camp, there could be a couple of fireworks, and maybe even a couple of cards shown.
Wakefield’s new signings
Trinity head coach Chris Chester has done an incredible job at the club over the past couple of years. He has brought in top quality players for the 2018 campaign, too.
Justin Horo is really strong back-rower who is certainly one of the best in Super League on his day while Pauli Pauli is a big coup. Ryan Hampshire is an exciting playmaker who can play a number of positions while Jordan Baldwinson will provide plenty of cover when injuries start to strike.
What are you most looking forward to this weekend? Let us know in the comments below.