WAKEFIELD TRINITY are ready to hit the ground running when they play host to Hull in Betfred Super League round one tomorrow.
Coach Chris Chester has been pleased with his team in practice and is looking forward to seeing how they have improved since the end of last year.
Trinity’s aim is to beat their eighth-placed finish in 2016 and Chester said: “We feel we are ready. We feel we’ve done okay in pre-season.
“The boys have worked really hard and we feel we have the right mix and blend of talent this year in the squad and we’ve got some really good depth there.
“We are all looking forward to it. It is a big first game for us and it’ll be an indication of how well we’ve done in pre-season.
“It is crucial to start well – you never want to be chasing your tails.
“Wakefield have been renown as slow starters, but we are hopeful we can get off to a good start and what a good first outing it is for us in front of a packed crowd at the Beaumont Legal Stadium.”
Hull were one of only three teams – along with Castleford Tigers and St Helens – Trinity failed to be beat last year.
“We know what to expect,” Chester said.
“They are the Challenge Cup winners and had a very good season last year.
“They have recruited well over the off-season, as have we and it’s two exciting teams.
“We came close a couple of times against them last year and we should have got a point in the second to last game in the Super-8s.
“We were very unlucky not to come away with anything then, but they are a good footballing side, they’ve got some exciting players in the outside-backs and a very physical pack as well.
“It is going to be a great challenge and one we are looking forward to.”
Trinity were the surprise package last year, climbing from bottom of the table at Easter to eighth after 23 rounds.
“In terms of what we’ve got squad-wise, this is the best squad we’ve had for a long, long time,” Chester said.
“Obviously that adds a bit of pressure. The expectation is a bit higher than last year, but we have got confidence in this group of players.
“We feel we have done the right things in pre-season and we can’t wait to get out there for the first game.
“We are healthy. Mitch Allgood is a bit of a concern with a head knock, but we didn’t pick up any other injuries in the friendlies and we are going into the season strong.”
Sheffield Eagles, who are sharing Wakefield’s stadium this year, will face Toulouse Olympique in the Kingstone Press Championship tomorrow at 5.30pm.
Scott Grix, Craig Huby and Sam Williams could all make their first competitive appearance for Trinity tomorrow and fellow recruit Kyle Wood is in contention for his second debut.
Wakefield Trinity: from Annakin, Arona, Ashurst, Crowther, England, Fifita, Finn, Grix, Huby, Jones-Bishop, Johnstone, Kirmond, Lyne, Miller, Sio, Tupou, Walker, Williams, Wood.
Hull: from Shaul, Fonua, Tuimavave, Griffin, Talanoa, Kelly, Sneyd, Taylor, Houghton, Watts, Minichiello, Ellis, Connor, Green, Thompson, Washbrook, Michaels, Manu, Turgut.
Referee: Chris Campbell (Widnes).
Kick-off: Tomorrow, 3pm.