LEE Mossop is ready to lock horns with Gareth Hock for the first time tomorrow.
Both are set to figure in Wigan’s friendly at Leigh.
And the presence of Hock – a confrontational forward and colourful character – creates the potential of a spicy encounter.
Mossop said: “I’ve never played against Gaz before.
“By his nature he’s competitive, but we’ve got a few like that ourselves.
“Hopefully he stays out of my way and on his side of the pitch, but you never know with Leigh, the way they play they’re all over the pitch, so it should be a tough game and that’s what we need, going into the new season.”
Mossop and Hock were team-mates at Wigan and England.
They both agreed to join Parramatta in 2014, but Hock made a U-turn and stayed in England to play for Widnes and then Salford.
He didn’t play for the Red Devils against the Warriors last season, before his move to the Centurions.
“Less than two years ago I was in the same Parra’ team as Willie Tonga and Fuifui Moimoi, and now they’re at Leigh, so it shows how anything can happen in rugby league,” continued Mossop.
“For Leigh to get players of their calibre is fantastic for them.”
Mossop will be one of the senior figures in a youthful Wigan squad featuring some players from their Under-19s.
Leigh are rolling out most of their off-season recruits including Tonga, Cory Paterson and former Man of Steel Rangi Chase.
“They’ve signed well, they had a class team last year and added some great players,” said Mossop.
“We’d rather play them than a lesser Championship teams, and it’s great for our younger players to play against some of those players.
“It’s been a long pre-season and I think if you ask every player, they’d rather play than get flogged.”