Warrington’s Josh McGuire is set to make his Super League debut during Rivals Round against Catalans, with Gil Dudson excited to see his team-mate take to the field for the first time in 2023.
McGuire, 33, has been forced to watch from the sidelines during the opening seven games due to a Grade F suspension picked up in their pre-season win over Leigh at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
The ex-St George Illawarra Dragons forward has been ‘busting a gut to play’ according to Wire head coach Daryl Powell, with the side set for their biggest challenge yet in Perpignan against Catalans, who have picked up six wins from seven so far this season.
Warrington remain unbeaten in 2023 to sit at the top of the Super League table, with McGuire set to make his official debut since joining the club during the off-season from Australia.
One man especially excited to see the Samoa international make his first appearance is team-mate Gil Dudson, with Powell previously hinting that the loose forward could be named to start against Steve McNamara’s Dragons.
When asked what fans can expect from McGuire, Dudson told Love Rugby League: “High intensity, high energy.
“There will be some fireworks I think.
“It’ll be good to get him on the field.
“He’s been chomping at the bit.
“He’s really keen to be getting playing and it’s been a long time through suspension.
“I think it’ll be good for him to get on the field.
“He gives us that something a bit different.
“I think Powelly (Daryl Powell) has touched on it, he wants that forward playing 13 for a link between middles and halves and I think he gives us a natural fit for that.
“That’s something we worked on during pre-season and we’ll see that come through fruition now.”
Biggest test yet?
Warrington this year have so far defeated Leeds, Huddersfield, Salford, Hull KR, Leigh, Castleford and Hull, with their biggest challenge yet to come against Catalans during Rivals Round.
It’s familiar territory for Welsh international Dudson, who spent two seasons with the side before joining the Halliwell Jones Stadium ahead of 2023.
He was also a part of the history-making Catalans side that reached their first-ever Grand Final in 2021, falling short 12-10 against St Helens at Old Trafford.
“When you play over there, you know you’re playing away from home. It’s going to be a big test for ourselves,” Dudson said.
“It will be a bit weird walking out, but I’ve played enough times as a visiting player.
“They’ve (Catalans) got a big pack. Everyone is talking about our pack, but they’ve got a big one as well.
“They’ve got a lot of flair players, and so do we.
“I think on paper, it’s two quite evenly contested squads and it’s going to be an exciting challenge.”