ALEX WALMSLEY, the St Helens prop, can’t wait to play against the Burgess brothers when his side takes on South Sydney Rabbitohs in the World Club Challenge in February.
The game takes place on Sunday 22 February, and will be the final match in the sport’s new World Club Series, which also sees Warrington play St George and Wigan play Brisbane.
Walmsley, who is looking forward to his third season at Langtree Park, hails from Dewsbury, as do George, Tom and Luke Burgess, and he is confident that he will be fit for the clash, having had a hip operation in the close season.
“I can’t wait for the game with Souths!” he said.
“I’ve come off the back of an operation at the end of the season, so fingers crossed I’ll be back in time. I should be training again in mid-January.
“What an advert for Rugby League it will be. You dream of these games and to play against the best of the NRL is going to be fantastic. The place will be bouncing and what a test it will be.
“I’m sure most of the Saints fans would have wanted the Bulldogs to win their Grand Final because of James Graham, but I wanted Souths to win because of the Dewsbury connection with the Burgess brothers. Going up against them will be a huge honour for me.”
Walmsley is also looking forward to coming up against Greg Inglis, the fearsome Souths and Australia fullback who was on this year’s Golden Boot shortlist.
“It won’t be intimidating going up against someone like Greg Inglis, but I might be in awe of the man!” he said.
“He’s one of the best players in the world but they have so many of them – the Burgess boys, Issac Luke, and so on.
“There are so many of them, but it’s a game of Rugby League over 80 minutes on a muddy pitch, so who knows what can happen?
“Pre-season is going well, the new boys are fitting in well, and we’re confident in our ability.
“We know we can go on and win the World Club Challenge.”
This article first appeared in Monday’s edition of Rugby League Express, which is available digitally and at all good newsagents.