(VIDEO): FORMER Bradford Bulls captain Heath L’Estrange believes his St George-Illawarra team-mates are not prepared for what will hit them tonight.
The Australian, who played at Odsal from 2010 to 2013, is not referring to opponents Warrington Wolves, whom they face in the opening World Club Series game.
It is rather the deafening sound of a sell-out 15,000 crowd at Halliwell Jones Stadium.
“Me and Gareth Widdop took a few of the boys to watch Bulls at Leigh on Sunday,” explained the hooker, who won the 2009 World Club Challenge with Manly against Leeds at Elland Road.
“Trent Merrin and Euan Aitken came along and loved it, taping videos and sending them back home. They could not believe the sound, the cheering.
“It was a great atmosphere but there was 7,000 there and there’ll be a lot more come Friday.
“I’d have liked more of the boys to go just to get used it. I don’t really think they understand what’s in store for them on Friday.
“With Bradford, I loved running out at Warrington, Leeds and Wigan, those kind of places where they sing, dance and cheer the home side but really boo you.
“Some people don’t like it but I thrive on it. I can’t wait.”
He is set to make his competitive debut for St George tonight, having played last season at NRL champions Sydney Roosters where England coach Steve McNamara, the man who signed him for Bradford, is assistant.
L’Estrange, 29, has spent time this week catching up with friends from the West Yorkshire club and admitted: “We had four years here and really enjoyed it.
“My wife’s ‘filthy’ that I got to come back and see some old faces like this. The last two years weren’t the best off-field with all the money issues but the Bradford fans were unbelievable.
“I’d never experienced anything like it where supporters came in to do bake sales and wash cars while ex-players were auctioning off Grand Final winners’ rings all to help raise that cash.
“The love you get from your fans over here is great.”
L’Estrange expects Bradford to quickly recover from last season’s relegation despite losing at Leigh.
He said: “They’ve recruited well, have got a good squad – five or six were out Sunday – and from everything I heard from the boys Jimmy Lowes is doing great there.
“I do think it will be a short stay in the Championship.”