Our columnist discusses Maguire’s appointment, Challenge Cup and his return
I’m hoping to return to the side for Sunday’s game – and it’s one we can’t wait for.
The Challenge Cup is a special competition. We’ve already spoken as a group and had a mind-shift – this is a new competition and we’re determined to go all the way.
I think many clubs are now looking at the Cup as a great chance to reach a final. They’ve seen, in recent years, more variation in the sides reaching the final and they may feel it is in touching distance more than trying to get to a Grand Final.
Look at Salford, they had a good run last year and put everything into their semi, and fortunately we were able to come out on top.
We head to Hull KR and they were in the final themselves not long ago, beating us on their way to Wembley, so I can honestly say we’ll be heading over to Hull feeling we need to be on our game.
They had a bit of a touch-up in their last match, at Wakefield, but this is a completely different competition.
We weren’t at our best against Salford but to win 30-0 was pleasing. Not being involved, I did wonder if Salford had one eye on their Challenge Cup game tomorrow night against Leigh.
When you consider the form Leigh are in, and past meetings between the sides, this could be one of the games of the round.
Castleford-St Helens on Saturday should be a cracker, too, and then there’s Warrington’s match with Toronto the following day.
I was speaking to Dom Crosby the other day and I could tell that they’re not taking the Wolfpack lightly.
The fact that game is on TV is a good chance for Toronto to show the wider-public what they’re about and also gauge where they’re at.
Our former coach Michael Maguire has taken over as New Zealand’s Test coach.
That is a massive appointment.
There aren't be many better men for the job.
We saw what he did with Wigan and then at Souths when he returned Down Under, and when you consider the individual talent he will have to work with in the Kiwi squad, it could be a scary prospect.
Obviously coaching a national team has its different challenges than at a club – Madge wouldn’t get a pre-season, for a start. But his success certainly wasn’t solely about the fitness of his squads. He’s got other sides to him.
He’s very technical, a big-thinker of the game and he always has a lot of things up his sleeve. He leaves very little to chance.
When it comes to preparation for a game, he leaves no stone unturned, and I really do think he’ll offer them a lot.
A New Zealand team with Madge at the helm? It could be a scary sight.
Congratulations to Wigan Athletic on their League One title success.
They did really well to secure promotion and to then back that up by winning the league was great to see.