As has been standard for the off-season everybody seems to be talking about Leigh and Joe Westerman has been the latest to offer his opinion on the 2022 Championship winners.
Leigh have recruited well ordinarily would be the key talking point but the rebranding to Leigh Leopards has got plenty more fans interested.
Westerman is back at Castleford Tigers for a second season, having initially also started his career at Wheldon Road, and when speaking about the strength of Super League he addressed Leigh and their off-season.
“I think they’ve shown off the field what they’ve done, they’ve signed some good players and I think by looking on Twitter they’re pretty excited about what’s to come,” Westerman told The Sportsman Rugby League Youtube channel.
He continued: “You look throughout all of Super League and people expected Salford to be down there and expected them not to be as good as they were, but they were outstanding so I think for rugby league that’s what we want.
“We want the competition to be at it’s best, everyone to be able to beat everyone week in and week out. It’ll be a tough competition this year and we’ll have to turn up every week.”
Castleford have only had one run out so far, following the cancellation of Jake Webster’s testimonial yesterday, with that one game being a loss to Featherstone in which they played plenty of youth.
Westerman also spoke about the transition from pre-season to those first few games and commented on the effect of the World Cup having created a longer off-season.
The World Cup has already affected Castleford in the sense that head coach, Lee Radford, wasn’t with them for that game against Featherstone on account of his celebrations with Samoa following their successful World Cup run.
“You don’t win the Grand Final in the first four weeks but they’re always tough. You’re probably the fittest you’ll be, but you’re not game fit so the first month is real tough. I’ve found that throughout my career.
“I think it’s an advantage for the teams with the older players, it’s good to have a good rest and the pre-season has been longer for the younger lads. For me it’s been nice to have a longer rest and more time with the family.”