New Leeds Rhinos signing Brad Dwyer believes he and his new team-mates will need to be ready to face a determined Warrington outfit when they kick off the new Betfred Super League season on February 1.
Dwyer spent six seasons at Warrington before making the switch to the Rhinos this close season. Now the Betfred Super League champions have been handed a trip to his former club on the opening day of the new season to kick off the 2018 campaign.
Dwyer said: “I didn’t realise the fixtures were due to come out but it was a nice surprise when my phone started going mad with people texting me about the fact we were playing Warrington first. It was always going to be the stand-out fixture for me and I am excited about playing against Warrington. Obviously, I want to impress having played there previously and for me personally it will probably be a bit of a light at the end of the tunnel during the tough times in pre-season.
“I need to make sure I am showing my new team-mates and the coaching staff what I can do because I am trying to get into a team that has just won the Grand Final. It would be nice to hit the ground running with that game at Warrington.
“I suppose it is nice that the game is first up and I can get it out of the way. It will hopefully be my first game for Leeds and it is against Warrington. The changes the Wolves have made with the coach and environment at the club will mean they will have a strong pre-season so we know how tough it will be. Having said that Leeds are the Champions and know what is needed in a game like this.”
Dwyer is anticipating a warm reception from his former team-mates when the two sides clash in February. He added: “I would imagine I’ll get plenty of stick from the Warrington lads. I have been copping quite a bit already since the fixture was announced! “With so many players having moved on and the new coaching set up, the group will be a lot different from the one I was part of. They were already talking about a change of culture last season and they will be a very determined group.”
The capture of Dwyer on a two-year contract was announced in July by the Rhinos and the hooker then watched as his new team-mates went on to finish second in the table and win the Grand Final.
And he says he was cheering them on all the way to Old Trafford: “It was exciting watching the lads and good to think I was joining a team who won the competition.
“That is the perfect place for me to test myself next season; those guys will challenge me every day in training and hopefully that will bring the best out of me.
“I watched the Grand Final with excitement. Leeds know how to turn up on the day and do the right things in the big game.
“That is something I am looking forward to learning from this group.”