Warrington Wolves prop Joe Philbin is so excited for the new Super League season, he doesn’t actually mind the gruelling pre-season training.
Philbin is back in training after being given extra time off following the Great Britain Lions tour of New Zealand. He admits he has missed it so much and cannot wait for the opening game against Wigan on Thursday, January 30.
“We got back training last week and it was a shock to the system,” said Philbin. “They are working us hard, but it is good. We’ve seen such a big improvement in a short space of time, it’s got me so excited for the start of the season.
“Seeing the new boys come in has got me really excited for the start of the season. Doing 13 on 13 and seeing what they have all got and the way they all play has got me buzzing. I’m so excited to be back, I’ve really missed it.”
The 25-year-old made his first-team debut in 2014, but last season he catapulted on to the big stage and is seen as one of the best forwards in Super League at the moment. Philbin is a modest guy and he says the introduction of Steve Price as hard coach transformed him into the player he is now.
He added: “I think since Pricey (Steve Price) came in, I really feel like I’ve kicked on. I think he’s put a lot of confidence in me. I’ve just been enjoying my rugby and that’s the main thing really. I keep a smile on my face and you do the best you can when you are happy.
“We had a lot of changes when Steve came in, a few new systems and on our defending as well. Everyone bought into that and we are now challenging for everything. He got us to the Challenge Cup Final and Grand Final in his first year, he then won the Challenge Cup last year but we didn’t get that Grand Final.
“We have been competing, this year we want to go that one step further. We want to get our name on the Grand Final trophy.”