With the 2013 Welsh rugby league season fast approaching, the South Wales Scorpions, one of the strongest teams in the competition, are excited for the season ahead – with coach Dave Clark expecting it to be the most special and exciting to date.
To make the 2013 season even more exciting, there are three new sides in Championship One and new players in the Scorpions side – with Clark of the belief that his side has the potential to win the promotion to the Championship.
â€œIâ€™ve been very pleased with how the players have done in training so far,â€ he said.
â€œWeâ€™ve a committed bunch of 25 who are giving their all. Itâ€™s a far cry from last year when we only had half of that number near to the start of the season and were relying on our partnership with Wigan far too much.
â€œBy the end of last season we had used 53 players in league matches alone, 16 more in cup games, and we know we canâ€™t and we wonâ€™t do that again.
â€œBut itâ€™s given us the chance to have our longest pre-season ever! Our players may not have come back in training until December, and some in January, but in reality our pre-season planning for 2013 started in August 2012.
â€œBy then, we were out of contention to reach the play-offs so we were just seeing the season out. It gave us a chance to blood in a few youngsters and see who could be ready for a first team squad place this year.â€
The Welsh side currently consists of 16 players from last year, with an additional six new signings ranging from Welsh duo Jack Pring and Ollie Olds, former Brisbane Broncos academy player Kayle Connor, former Cronulla Sharks Toyota Cup forward Haydn Peacock, Tongan international James Tutuila and Cardiff Blues junior Kyle Perry.
â€œWeâ€™ve brought in Kayle Connor, who was a Brisbane Broncos academy player,â€ said Clark,
â€œHeâ€™s a half-back, a strong and powerful try-scorer and is a fantastic kicker of the ball.
â€œHaydn Peacock is a back rower from Cronulla Sharks. For those who have seen his video on YouTube of some his best tries, youâ€™ll know how good a player he looks.
â€œPlus weâ€™ve Tongan international James Tutuila who is primarily a loose forward but can also do just as well at hooker, which was the position that he made his international debut last year.
â€œOllie Olds has been playing Rugby League since aged 11 in South Wales, so weâ€™re delighted to have him on board. Itâ€™s also good to welcome back Jack Pring after a year at Leeds Rhinos. Heâ€™s played for the Scorpions before and I know he canâ€™t wait to get going again.
â€œPlus weâ€™ve high hopes for former Cardiff Blues junior Kyle Perry who could be a very strong and tough asset for our forward line.â€
Whilst the overall age of the squad is still relatively young, working in their favour, is the fact that the side consists of seven Welsh internationals, an Irish international and a Tongan international – a sign that the experience of the side will prove handy for the upcoming season.