FEATHERSTONE Rovers’ Jordan Baldwinson is relishing the chance to take on former club Bradford Bulls and give Leeds Rhinos chief Brian McDermott another reminder of his talent.
The prop, 20, is on a season-long deal from Headingley as he looks to gain experience in the most arduous of positions.
He left Leeds originally towards the end of 2013 to try his luck with New Zealand Warriors Under-20s but came back last May and was sent out on on loan to Bradford where he picked up some crucial game time.
The Bulls, of course, were relegated, though, and so now Baldwinson is preparing to face them in a highly-anticipated West Yorkshire derby between two of the Championship favourites .
He said: “I’ve started the opening two games and it has gone really well. I’m really grateful to have the number eight jersey, too, at such a young age.
“This doesn’t necessarily mean I’m going to start every week but I’m just grateful for the game time and opportunity I’m getting here. It has really benefited me, especially playing front-row at such a young age.”
Featherstone have opened with two wins ahead of Bradford’s visit and, on his time at Odsal, Baldwinson recalled: “My agent said Bradford were really short of forwards and had an injury crisis, so there was a chance I could go there and play Super League.
“To be honest, I absolutely loved my time at Bulls – it was brilliant. Franny Cummins said he was really impressed with how I had done but a couple of months after I got there he had gone.
“It was a shame as he was a great coach who gave me a lot of confidence. But obviously Jimmy (Lowes) took over and he’s a top coach, too. I learnt a lot during my time there. I played six Super League games, which is six more games than if I hadn’t gone there.”