Wildcats skipper Danny Kirmond is looking forward to a return to the Big Fellas Stadium on Sunday afternoon (kick-off: 3pm).
Featherstone were Kirmond’s first club after his amateur days, making 73 appearances and scoring 41 tries in his days as a fresh faced winger. That provided the platform from which he was spotted by Huddersfield Giants before ultimately joining the Wildcats on a full-time basis via a couple of loan spells.
He enjoyed National League Two Grand Final success with Rovers and says the chance to return this weekend is one he’s excited for.
“I had a really good time there,” said Kirmond. “It was my first experience of watching rugby other than seeing my dad play amateur level and my grandma used to take me to watch as a kid.
“We won the National League Two Grand Final so there’s plenty of good memories for me at the club and I still have lots of friends down there including James Lockwood who has been a mate since school, so it’ll be good to go up against him.”
The local derby clash will be the second run-out for Richard Agar’s men in preparation for 2014 and whilst conditions may not be conducive to expansive rugby at this stage of the year, Kirmond says Trinity will be making the most of the opportunity to get some match fitness under their belts.
“The weather’s not helped with getting as much ball work done as we may have liked and there’s still a few guys yet to arrive but we’ve been able to get some good work done and it’ll be good for getting some match fitness and energy in the tank.
“The pitch probably won’t be the greatest with all the rain but we’re going there to put on a professional performance and really concentrate on our defensive efforts.”
With the season just over five weeks away and a number of new faces having arrived at the club, Kirmond says the camaraderie that has been key to the club over the last two seasons has continued even with a significant turnover of players.
“I’m personally really happy with how pre-season has gone so far. There’s some new faces and they’re all full of enthusiasm. Jimmy and Luke have joined this week to add to the squad and Paul McShane is a bit of a joker so he’s fitting in well.
“Richard Moore has too and there’s that many former Leeds players here now that I think I’m the only one that hasn’t played there at some point,” joked the captain.
Tickets for Sunday’s game are available on the gate priced at £12 for adults, £6 for concessions and £4 for juniors.
Richard Agar has added Luke Briscoe to his squad after the Rhinos man joined on loan. Jimmy Keinhorst is not yet available for selection as he continues his rehabilitation from a shoulder injury at the end of last season.
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