So, here we go with probably the most important season of domestic rugby league since the introduction of summer rugby.
With the reintroduction of promotion and relegation at the end of the season, all 14 current clubs will know what’s at stake should they fail to deliver on the field.
Round one though is the clash between Wigan and Huddersfield who are kicking off early to allow Wigan time for the World Club Challenge later in the month.
This is going to be an interesting game for both clubs, who on the face of it have had a lot to do since we last saw them in the play offs. Wigan have lost Sam Tomkins, Pat Richards, Lee Mossop, Harrison Hansen and six others have all left for retirement or pastures new since last we saw the Warriors at Old Trafford in October. Wigan coach Shaun Wane is pretty confident that his squad will not only still be good enough to compete on all fronts, but to even win them all as well. Let’s face it, they put pretty much everyone else to the sword when the chips were down last season and Wane will ask no less of the squad this time around. Four trophy’s on offer. I’d bet on them making at least two of them home at the DW stadium again.
Just over the Pennines, it’s been a much quieter preseason at the John Smiths Stadium. Having won the League Leaders Shield for the first time in over 40 years. Paul Anderson has looked to build on a powerful squad with the addition of Antonio Kaufusi just one of the additions that fans of the Giants will this season take them that next step beyond a playoff semi-final and on to the big day out at Old Trafford for the Grand Final itself. As Luke Robinson told SLTV, they have been building at the club for a number of years now, and it’s time for that to pay off. Paul Anderson hit the nail on the head when he said that the bar had been raised for the club after 2013 and that the club as a whole needed to make sure that the standard is maintained going forward.
See more of what the Wigan and Huddersfield players and coaches have to say on Super League 2014 here: