Wildcats Head Coach, Richard Agar, says he has been delighted with what he and his squad have got out of their pre-season trip to France.
Agar and a 23-man squad flew out to the south of France last Sunday for a week-long training camp that will culminate in a warm-up match against Catalans Dragons this Saturday.
Captain Steve Southern has missed the trip with his wife heavily pregnant whilst Oliver Wilkes is at home recovering from having his appendix removed last week.
Despite the absence of two of the more senior players in the squad, Agar says there has been nothing but positives to take from the first few days.
“It’s been a terrific trip so far,” he said.
“We’ve had three double days of training so in terms of the volume we’ve got a lot done. We had a little break over Christmas and the weather last week wasn’t great so it’s been good for the players to get the sun on their backs and get through some quality work and it’s been of good intensity.
“We’ve been reviewing training daily and done some workshops as well so it’s been a positive trip.
“We’ve gone through some standards and some roles and responsibilities that are measurable and can give us some weekly indicators on how players are performing in some of the most important areas and facets of our game.
“The most pleasing thing though has been how the group has come together. There’s a real camaraderie and spirit between all the boys and they’ve all hit it off very quickly.
“They’ve got the afternoon off today and they’ve all had lunch together in the town and then we’ve got a bit of a team bonding activity tonight.
“The players have been working on a team song in some of their down time for this year so we should hear what they’ve come up with tonight and hopefully it’ll be publishable!”
With a third pre-season clash coming up on the back of games against Leeds Rhinos and Sheffield Eagles, Agar is expecting a good test in a match that will be Jerome Guisset’s testimonial.
“I’ve spoken to their coaching staff and they’ll be putting out their strongest possible side and so will we,” confirmed Agar.
“But it’s been a heavy week for the players so we will be likely to use all 23 players that are over here on the trip.
“They’re a tough team and a big team so it’ll be a hard game. I fully expect them to be contending towards the top end of the table this season.
“Catalans have been most accommodating and considering there have been two teams on the same site we’ve not crossed paths or anything like that in terms of training.
“They’ve made it really easy for us so it’s been so far, so good.”
We’ll have post-match details and reaction from Agar on Saturday evening following the match, whilst tickets are on sale now for the home warm-up match against Castleford Tigers.
Tickets for the match at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium for Wildcats Gold Members and Tigers season ticket holders are priced at just £12 for adults and £5 for concessions/juniors if pre-purchased by Saturday 21st January.
Non-members can buy in advance with tickets priced at £14 for adults and £5 for concessions/juniors whilst this will also be the price for all supporters paying on the day.
Advance tickets can be bought from either of the clubs retail outlets at the Ridings Shopping Centre or at Doncaster Road.
Wildcats squad vs. Catalans: Mathers, Fox, Collis, Mellars, Cockayne, John, Wood, Ellis, Raleigh, Lauitiiti, Washbrook, Aiton, Amor, Johnson, Kirmond, Tony, Mariano, Smith, Wildie, Trout, James, Cowling, Walshaw.
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