Bill Tupou has warned those who believe his incredible form in 2018 was a one-off to be on their guard in 2020, as he eyes up a return to the Super League Dream Team alongside his wing partner Tom Johnstone.
The Wakefield centre was one of the best threequarters in the competition two years ago, but struggled with injuries throughout 2019, including a lay-off that prematurely ended his season.
But with Tupou and Johnstone both back to full fitness, it reunites one of the best wing-centre pairings in the game. And Tupou wants to show the world that he can return to that level once again.
“It’s been in the back of my mind, showing people that wasn’t a one-off season,” he told League Express.
“I’ve used that as a goal and a motivation, to get back to that level and getting back into that Dream Team. I want to prove that I can do it all over again.”
Johnstone’s return is one of the most eagerly anticipated in Super League following another serious knee injury last year, and Tupou admits he’s in awe of the character Johnstone has shown at such a young age.
“It’s good to be back out there with Tommy,” he said.
“It was very early in the year when he got injured and I missed having him next to me. It’s going to be good linking back up again, so hopefully I can throw a few tries his way and we can get the partnership back firing.
“He’s one of the big players at our club and it’s great to have him back, because he’s been through so much. It’s impressive the way he’s handled it and dealt with it all.
“We’ve played alongside each other for so long and we know each others’ games really well. My body is fine now. It’s been a long road to recovery but I think we’re both ready to make up for lost time.”
Tupou admitted he would have likely headed back home to Australia if Trinity had been relegated on the final day last season, but he was always confident that wouldn’t happen.
He said: “I didn’t really worry about it. I knew that we were going to stay up but if it did come to the worst, whatever happens, happens.
“Me and my partner were prepared to go back if something happened, but it was just one of those things you couldn’t control. Luckily we won, so I’m still here! I had a good feeling on the night, and we handled the game really well.
“But it sucks watching matches. I’m here to play and I’m glad to be back.”