Frank-Paul Nuuausala didn’t return to England with us.
He’s since left the club and he’ll go with my best wishes – I hope he kicks on and gets another crack at the NRL.
I’ve got to give Frank credit.
I’ve just been away from home for two weeks and I missed my missus and kid.
When he came back for pre-season, his family stayed in Australia, and that must have been really tough for him.
But I can honestly say you wouldn’t have known it from the way he carried himself. He ripped into training – if anything, he was in better shape than 12 months earlier – and he was the same ol’ Frank, helping out the younger blokes. Being one of the senior figures, it was good to have him around the place.
He was a popular member of the squad and I wish him well.
We only landed back from Australia on Monday.
The jet-lag hasn’t been too bad – Wigan gave us advice on how best to deal with it, and it doesn’t seem as bad coming this way.
We’ll certainly not be using the travel as an excuse ahead of tomorrow’s game at Warrington.
In a way, it’s helped having a big derby like this to come back to, because no-one needs to get up for this one. This has really sharpened the minds because we know if we don’t turn up, we will get burned, and everyone is looking forward it.
We had a great tour Down Under.
It was a great experience for everyone, but especially for our younger players. Some of them got to play long-minutes against South Sydney, which was great for them and their development.
As well as the two games, the trip was like a mini-pre-season camp, too.
We had a long pre-season at home, but we didn’t have a camp away – other than a trip to Wales – and this tour really brought us closer together. I think some of the lads were sick of each other after two weeks! But seriously, it’s been really good for team spirit and to have the chance to train on some hard, dry pitches in good weather.
And now it’s about making sure we turn up and do a job at Warrington.
Waney won’t cut us any slack for a sub-standard performance. I know Wire have had a couple of bad results but they picked up a win at Widnes last week, and I stand by my prediction at the start of the year that they will be up there competing at the top end of the table.
I was pleased to see my old team-mate Dom Crosby make his return to playing for Warrington last weekend.
He obviously had it tough last year and the Wolves gave him some time off, which I know he appreciated.
Dom did a lot of good things for our club, and he’s still got a lot of mates here, and it’ll be interesting facing him this week.
Finally, congratulations to Wigan Athletic on their incredible result on Monday night.
To beat Manchester City – again – in the FA Cup was a remarkable result.
Great to see.