SAM Powell has been relieved to return to pre-season training... after an off-season confined to the couch!
While most of his team-mates jetted off on holidays, the crafty halfback was kept house-bound after an operation on an ankle injury which plagued him last season.
The Grand Finalist is still recovering from the procedure and expects to miss the pre-season training camp in Florida next week.
But he’s just grateful to be back among familiar faces after more than a month of trying to combat boredom.
He said: “I had the operation a week after the Grand Final, and so I couldn’t do anything.
“I’ve not been able to go away – I couldn’t drive, couldn’t walk.
“It was really boring. I must have been through every box-set imaginable!
“It was a bit gutting when everyone else was going away – I’ll get a big holiday in next year to make up for it!”
Powell played 22 games last season, either at stand-off or hooker, and will be duelling with George Williams for the No.6 role vacated by Blake Green.
“I missed a few games through injury, but last season went alright for me – there’s always room for improvement,” says the ex-Wigan St Patrick’s junior, who hopes to begin running again next month.
“Obviously my position is halfback but if I’m needed at hooker I can play there.
“This will be my fourth pre-season and as long as everything goes alright, I don’t seem why I can’t play quite a few games next year.”
Hooker Logan Tomkins has bolstered the squad after returning from a loan spell at Salford.
With Matty Smith and Mike McIlorum holding the No.7 and No.9 shirts respectively, it effectively leaves three players – Powell, Williams and Tomkins – competing for two spots: at stand-off and a bench hooker place.
Some fans thought Shaun Wane may have recruited a replacement for Green. But Powell and Williams are highly-rated – the latter was given a four-year deal last season – and they will get a chance.