JOSH DRINKWATER initially wanted to stay with Challenge Cup winners Catalans Dragons but now only desires “making memories” with Hull KR.
The Australian scrum-half proved a big hit for the French side last year, coming in on a short-term deal in late April, helping resurrect their campaign and leading them to an historic Wembley glory.
He faces them at KCOM Craven Park tomorrow for the first time since leaving and said: “There was talks.
“But obviously they already had (St Helens’) Matty Smith signed (for 2019) and the way the Catalans play you probably can’t play two sevens in that team.
“I loved my time there and at the time I did want to stay but I’ve said many times I’m happy here in Hull with Hull KR.
“Last year was great – winning the Challenge Cup was the highlight of my career – but that’s in the past now and I want to make memories at KR this year.”
Drinkwater, 26, has quickly settled with the Robins and helped them to their third victory of the year when they won at Wakefield Trinity on Sunday.
They see captain Joel Tomkins return from suspension tomorrow and hope to have England prop Robbie Mulhern fit after a calf injury but second-row James Greenwood is out for the season with an ACL.
Catalans, meanwhile, suffered an embarrassing 46-0 home defeat to Salford Red Devils a week ago.
“I definitely didn’t see that coming,” conceded former St George Illawarra player Drinkwater.
“But I don’t think Salford have done us any favours; there will be a big reaction now from Catalans, especially losing like that in Perpignan.
“We saw last time they lost at Wakefield that the next week they then went out and beat Warrington so I’ve no doubt they’ll come over here on Sunday looking to win.
“It’s an important match for both in how the teams start their season.”
Catalans were missing France star Tony Gigot last week but he returns to action tomorrow.
Drinkwater said: “Gigot has a lot of X factor about him and everyone knows when he’s on he can do anything.
“But they have a big pack of forwards and our main goal is to stop their go-forward.
“If we do that we can limit what the likes of Gigot and Sam Tomkins can do with the ball.
“Our middles have a big job but I thought last week against a big Wakefield pack in tough conditions our pack was outstanding. I think that will be where it’s won and lost.”