RUGBY LEAGUE’S First Utility Super League kicks off this weekend and for Scouthead’s Joe Greenwood he can’t wait for the action to get under way.
The 22-year-old St Helens second-row forward is also hoping for an upturn in personal fortunes after an injury-plagued 2015 campaign.
Greenwood suffered three major injuries: a dislocated elbow, broken leg and ligament damage to his shoulder.
He said: “They say things come in threes and it was not a season I will want to remember.
“At the start of the season we set off like a house on fire for the first seven or eight games. Then the injuries struck which was horrible and devastating.”
Yet when Greenwood was able to get on to the pitch, his displays received rave reviews as he was tipped as a future international player.
And looking ahead, Greenwood said: “I have had a good pre-season and am itching to get going. It has been tough two months as we reported back in November.
“It has been cold, wet, dark and miserable training and that is probably why I just want to get out there and play.
“We have recruited well and I think we are stronger than last season when we narrowly failed to make the Grand Final losing at Leeds Rhinos in an epic semi final and also finished fourth in the league after starting the season well and then having a dip.
“I thought we did well last season bearing in mind we were cursed with injuries but, this time, everyone has been injury free so far.
“I am confident we will do better than last season, and I definitely feel we could go all the way, but it is hard to predict as most of the Super League teams have recruited well.
“We have a good core of senior players while a lot of the younger ones have now played a lot of Super League games, and that experience will be important.”
Greenwood is excited by the captures of Samoan internationals Lama Tasi and Dominque Peyroux along with French international Theo Fages from Salford Red Revils and back Jack Owens who was at Widnes Vikings to add to a quality squad they already had.
Greenwood was one of three Saddleworth-based players at St Helens last year, but now it is two after Mark Flanagan’s close-season transfer to Salford Red Devils.
Moorside-based Jordan Turner is still at Saints and he and Greenwood are great mates travelling together to training each day at Langtree Park.
Greenwood will also be renewing rivalries with older brother Joe as the 24-year-old have moved from Wigan Warriors to Hull KR due to a lack of game time.
“It is always good to face your brother as we have done before and try to get one over on him,” he joked.