The Liam Farrell Column: It’s another derby to be excited about

Liam Farrell congratulates Oliver Gildart on his late try

Liam Farrell congratulates Oliver Gildart on his late try

We have Leigh down at the DW tomorrow night and I’m looking forward to it.

It’s another derby game for us – it’s not as big as St Helens, but I’m sure it will be up there.

I’ve got to give the fans praise, they really got behind us in the Widnes game

Liam Farrell

We watched some of their clips from their win against Saints, and they dominated them down the middle. It should be a tasty game.

I was glad when Leigh got promoted, because it has freshened it up, and it’ll be good to play a ‘new’ Super League fixture – at least for most of the lads, who weren’t playing the last time the Centurions were in the top-flight.

But while I’ve never played a league game against Leigh before, I know a few of their players well.

Gaz Hock has been a really good player for 15 years, he plays the game tough and aggressive and it goes without saying he’ll be looking to play well on his return to the DW.

I played with Harrison Hansen, too – he’s another player I have a lot of respect for. And there are a lot of experienced players elsewhere in their side.

Of course, it’s our first game back at the DW since the World Club Challenge, following the switch of our last match to Widnes.

We got told on the Thursday night it was off, but prepare as if there is a game just in case. Then, on Friday morning, we found out it would take place at Widnes’ ground.

It wasn’t ideal for us or the fans but I was glad it was sorted, and I’ve got to give it to the fans, they really turned up and supported us.

All the lads wanted to back up and play, we had the right attitude – we maybe didn’t respect the ball enough for large spells of the first hour of the game, we put ourselves in an awkward spot, but Waney praised us for getting the win after the highs of winning the World Club.

On Monday, I went to an England training session near Manchester.

We’ve had catch-ups throughout the year before, but this time we had a field session and it was good to get back into the routine with the national team.

It was good to catch up with them, and for the older lads, it was a chance to remind ourselves of some of the ruck plays and – for the new lads – get used to some of the calls.

I can understand why an outsider looking in would think it may feel strange for us to go from whacking each other one week, to training alongside them the next, but we all get on well, we all have respect for each other.

I definitely saw some value with the session. I know it can be hard for the clubs, when there are Super League games to prepare for, but it can only help us in what is an important year with the World Cup coming up.

The new NRL season kicks-off today and, as ever, it is hard to call.

I’ve heard a few people say Souths look in good shape for another successful season, which would be nice to see. I think Canterbury Bulldogs will be there-or-thereabouts again.

I don’t really support anyone in particular, but I do keep an eye on the games and watch as many as I can.

I tend to look for teams where I’ve got former team-mates, or check on the England lads. Blake Green has moved from Melbourne to Manly – I hope he has another good year – and it’ll be good to see Dan Sarginson playing for the Titans. A few of the lads have spoken to him, he’s looking forward to his debut.