I was in great anticipation for the Great Britain tour at the end of last year with all the nostalgia associated with that, particularly, I suppose, with my generation as we grew up with it.
We watched it and always wanted to play in it so it was really disappointing that the Lions just didn’t get the recognition from the powers-that-be last autumn.
When the coach (Wayne Bennett) comes out and says Great Britain is a warm-up series for England, like he did, then that is really disappointing.
I doubt they’ll field a Great Britain side again now on the back of what happened over there.
But someone obviously as passionate as Shaun Wane – who is renowned for getting the best out of his players – will be great in the role.
Wigan players speak really highly of him and maybe going back to an English coach should be a positive sign for the game. With Hull, it was really, really good performance in our opening Super League game at Leeds Rhinos, winning 30-4 at Headingley.
We’d been slowly building as pre-season had gone on.
It didn’t click straight away; there were a lot of things we had to work on and eventually – I think in the last week or two – we’d all started to see it come together.
I think the realisation of what we are sort of sunk in.
(Leeds coach) Richard Agar had said pre-game in his press that we are a big, powerful, strong, aggressive team and that’s good that he knows that as that is what we are.
We need to play to those strengths and what we did against Rhinos on Sunday evening was a great example of that.
When we signed who we signed you hope that is what we are going to be.
The joke with Radders has been Lee Bradford as, of course, he played in that era when Bradford Bulls were massive with people like Tevita Vaikona and Lesley Vainikolo, Joe Vagana and Stuart Fielden.
That’s probably been an influence on his coaching style.
But then again we scored some great tries as well.
And that’s because that is on the back of what we’d done to them; for opponents, it’s hard work defending big blokes running at you consistently.
Our only undoing with that is if we were loose with the ball and we were dropping it and handing over possession.
But I thought we were really good at that against Leeds. We completed our sets when we needed to.
From start to finish I thought we were really impressive.
It was great to see the new guys all come in and do well and there was some real quality performances.
And when you think about two or three players who were playing for the reserves on Saturday, it just shows the depth that we have got.
Competition is so tough at the moment. That’s good.
You saw out there against Leeds that I don’t think there’s many players who want to give up their spot and that’s the environment that competitiveness creates.
It’s a culture where you know it doesn’t take too many bad games and you will end up in the reserves so it was pleasing to see that win and performance.
Next up it’s KR on Friday. One of the highlights of playing for Hull is playing in the derby game.
I’m sure it is something everyone will be up for and – as it was with me – for some of the overseas boys who have not experienced it yet, hopefully it will be something new, exciting and fresh.
Hopefully we all rise to the occasion. Regardless of names on backs or how they are doing at the time, they (Hull KR) always seem to raise their game as we should as well.
It’s a big game. Hopefully I’ll be OK to play but I’m not sure yet.
I got a slight issue with an injury which might need a scan. It’s a shame as I felt good out there.
I’ve a protective boot on mainly as a precaution and it’s nothing major.