Castleford Tigers fullback Zak Hardaker has admitted Friday’s season-opener against Leigh is an ideal opportunity to show the rest of Super League that they mean business in 2017.
Hardaker, who is on a season-long loan at the Tigers, will make his debut on Friday night against the newly-promoted Centurions in front of the TV cameras.
Many are talking up Castleford as title contenders this year, and Hardaker insisted that the opening game is a great opportunity to prove that they mean business and they are capable of living up to the potential many believe they have.
When asked if Friday was a chance to lay a marker down, Hardaker said: “100 per cent. There’s a lot pf people saying how good Cas can be this year and that’s all good and well but it’s no good if you don’t show it out on the pitch.
“It’s a great opportunity for us; they’re probably thinking the same but it’s more important for us to play well on Friday and show the competition what we can achieve this year and put some fear into some teams.”
However, Hardaker admitted that the challenge posed by Neil Jukes’ men will be a stern one – saying they will have “nothing to lose”.
He said: “We’re expecting a massive test; they’ve recruited really well and collectively as a team they look great so they’re going to be all guns blazing and fired up for their first game back in Super League.
“It’s always a tough one; they’ve probably got nothing to lose and everything to gain. They’ve signed some great players and from the footage we’ve seen we know they’re capable.”