Warrington Wolves got off to an incredible start in round one as they steamrolled Leeds Rhinos 42-10 and silenced the critics who were speculating on Daryl Powell’s future.
The Wire will face a tougher test this week though as they travel to the John Smith’s and face last season’s surprise package Huddersfield Giants.
Huddersfield placed third in the table and made the Challenge Cup final with Ian Watson’s men playing an entertaining style of rugby along the way.
They also didn’t play in round one, so whilst Warrington would have a rest advantage over almost every side in the competition, Huddersfield are the sole exception.
Powell has named another strong squad, the main absentee being the suspended Josh McGuire, but plenty of the other impressive new signings are on show including forwards Paul Vaughan and Sam Kasiano.
Gil Dudson misses out again through injury and second row forward Matty Nicholson is also absent, but Wolves fans will head to Huddersfield confident of a result.
📋 𝙍2 𝙎𝙦𝙪𝙖𝙙 𝙣𝙚𝙬𝙨 𝙞𝙨 𝙞𝙣!
W/ @CheshireMould pic.twitter.com/DOiWN9RhWW
— Warrington Wolves (@WarringtonRLFC) February 22, 2023
As for Huddersfield they’ve incorporated plenty of new signings into their first game of the 2023 campaign, but star signing Jake Connor still remains absent as he continues his recovery.
Ian Watson had emphasised the importance Connor’s availability near the business end of the season so it’s no surprise that he won’t be rushed back.
Instead though the likes of Esan Marsters, Kevin Naiqama, Jake Bibby, Jack Bibby and Nathan Peats all feature.
Young star Will Pryce is also on show and will provide excellent playmaking with the likes of Tui Lolohea and Theo Fages.
𝗦𝗤𝗨𝗔𝗗 𝗡𝗘𝗪𝗦 🟠
Ian Watson has named his 21-Man Squad ahead of Friday's home opener! 🚨
🎟️ https://t.co/pKSogsPYCE#CowbellArmy🐮🔔 pic.twitter.com/qGYqxXoLmI
— Huddersfield Giants (@Giantsrl) February 22, 2023
The Friday night game will be a real litmus test of how impressive Warrington were last week and also be a chance to see a glimpse of what this Huddersfield side are about.