Kiwi Frank-Paul Nuuausala is aiming to blow away the cobwebs in Wigan’s first game of 2017 – as he targets even more success.
The prop, nicknamed ‘the Wrecking Ball’, is in the squad to face Leigh at the Sports Village tomorrow.
It is Wigan’s only friendly on British soil ahead of the new campaign, in a game which is serving as a testimonial to Micky McIlorum.
And Nuuausala said: “I’m looking forward to it.
“I’d much rather play than train -if you don’t play you get flogged in training, so give me a game, any time!”
Nuuausala arrived last summer and played a big part in their Grand Final success.
Even so, he expects his improvement to continue and has used the off-season to work on his link-up play.
“I definitely think there’s more to come,” said the 29-year-old. “I’m trying to get some good combinations and that’s come the more we train together.”
The former New Zealand international arrived in mid-season from Canberra, and as such has yet to play alongside McIlorum.
But he knows all about the combative hooker, having clashed before kick-off in the 2014 World Club Challenge in Sydney.
“He says I shouldered into him as we switched sides, I say it was him,” smiled the ex-Roosters prop.
“Either way I can’t wait to play alongside him.”
Nuuausala is one of several senior players in the Wigan squad for tomorrow’s game.
Captain Sean O’Loughlin and England halfback George Williams are joined by recruits Morgan Escare, Romain Navarrete and Thomas Leuluai.
There are also familiar faces Anthony Gelling, Oliver Gildart, Sam Powell and Willie Isa. Wane plans to start with a strong side, before giving some younger players a chance form an extended bench.
He says winger Liam Marshall – yet to make his debut – has caught his eye is pre-season.
Leigh’s squad features ex-Warriors Gareth Hock, Harrison Hansen, Ryan Hampshire and Danny Tickle, as well as some of the players recruited ahead of their first season back in Super League, such as Glenn Stewart and Atelea Vea. Kick-off is 3pm.
McIlorum and George Carmont – who has flown over to support the event – will be meeting fans and signing shirts at Warriors World today, from 1pm to 2pm.