Heading into pre-season as a player generally means one thing and that’s lots of running and a return to fitness, but as a coach it’s very different as one former Super League player turned coach has said prior to his team’s pre-season opener.
Simon Grix played for Warrington Wolves from 2006 to 2015 but since 2019 he has been the head coach at Halifax Panthers.
His Panthers side will kick off their pre-season against Wakefield Trinity on Sunday it Reece Lyne’s testimonial game and Grix has offered his thoughts ahead of the match.
“We’re excited about playing. You get to a point in pre-season where you need a game and that’s us. Wakefield will be a very tough test for us, they’re a Super League team.
“They’re like us, they don’t have a huge squad so I expect they’ll have a strong team which will be a good test for us.
“These games give you a focus leading into round one, they’ll expose us in some areas no doubt and we’ll find stuff that we’re good at and that’s it in a nut shell what it is really, it’s just a learning process.”
— Halifax Panthers 🐾 (@HalifaxPanthers) January 13, 2023
As Grix expected Wakefield have named a very strong side with the team representing what they’ll likely view as their first team bar the absence of Corey Hall and a few small switches.
In response he too has named a very strong squad with last season’s third-placed Championship side offering debuts to their World Cup recruit Jake Maizen among others.
“We’ll see if we can put some of the things out on the field that we’ve been practicing and combinations can start developing.
“At the minute we look like a good touch rugby team so let’s add that physical element and see what all that looks like.”
With both sides set to put out strong teams in the testimonial match and Wakefield having already had a first run-out against Leeds Rhinos on Boxing Day then Fax will be in for a huge test and Grix will learn plenty about his team.