Robbie Paul is back and in full training as Leigh Centurions’ head coach Ian Millward steps up the training ahead of the club’s second warm-up game, this time against Warrington Wolves on January 23.
Paul had missed the Boxing Day victory over Salford City Reds, having been back in New Zealand for his wedding. But he is now back in town and looking sharp and fit as he prepares along with the rest of the squad for the very important season ahead.
“Robbie will once again be a key member of our squad,” explained Millward. “He has so much experience and enthusiasm and he is a great leader on and off the field.
“Whether I play him half back, hooker or even somewhere else , I have not yet decided, but I do feel he has plenty to offer in a variety of roles for us this season.”
Whether Paul will feature against Warrington, Millward has yet to reveal, but Mick Govin looks set for a debut after missing the Salford game through a chest infection.
Now Leigh are focusing on the Warrington clash at the LSV and are well aware they will have to step up their intensity and concentration levels for the clash with the Challenge Cup holders who comprehensively beat Widnes Vikings in their first pre-season hit out.
“In our next game, the opposition will be stronger because Warrington are a better team than Salford,” said Millward. “But I also think we are going to keep improving. I’m really excited about this game because the Warrington team is full of internationals and top-class players.
“They are probably now set to be one of the top two teams in this year’s Super League and will no doubt be keen to hold onto the Challenge Cup for a third successive season.
“On top of that they will be back after warm weather training in Tenerife, while we have had to do the best we can despite the ice and snow.
“With such quality opposition it’s going to be a really good barometer to where we are at in terms of fitness, strength, skill and in working as a unit.
“In the end the results are secondary in these games, but it is important that we start to show cohesion and a good understanding of each other and our play structures and patterns. I will be playing what I consider my best starting line-up and Tony Smith has told me he will be bringing in his strongest team which will give us the stiffest of tests.
“Salford was a good first hit out and an encouraging performance and even result, but we did not get carried away with that. Warrington will be a really stiff test for us, but one we are looking forward to.”
Tickets, are now on sale from the ticket office priced £14 for adults, with concessions priced at £7, and will be on sale on the day of the game although buying early will avoid lengthy waiting time and queues on the day.