Leeds centre Liam Sutcliffe believes that Warrington will challenge for honours against next season after a nightmare 2017 campaign.
The Wolves, who were the pre-season title favourites, had to fight for their Super League status in the Qualifiers after finishing ninth at the end of the regular season.
They followed a similar path to Leeds in 2016 but the Rhinos were able to come back this season and claim the Super League title, something Sutcliffe feels the Wolves will look to replicate.
“Going from last year I don’t think you can really underestimate any team,” said Sutcliffe.
“There are the likes of Warrington who didn’t have the best of seasons but they will be looking at making big strides to challenge again next year.
“They have a new coach with fresh ideas and they have made a couple of great signings as well, so I fully expect them to back up near the top next season.
“Obviously Castleford had a great year too and they will be looking at going one step further in 2018 so it’s certainly going to be an open race.”
On his own team’s front, Sutcliffe will wear number 4 in 2018 with Joel Moon reverting to 6, taking the outgoing Danny McGuire’s prestigious shirt number.
Having also lost Rob Burrow to retirement, the Rhinos will be without almost all of their golden generation players next season but Sutcliffe says they are confident of success.
“Pre-season has gone really well so far and both Richie Myler and Brad Dwyer have settled in great.
“They have only been training with us a week but they have really settled in well and are a good laugh to be around as well.
“We have lost some great players but there is still a lot of quality in our team and all the lads are already looking forward to getting back out there next season.”