Getting back on the pitch and looking forward to a full season is a big bonus for Huddersfield Giants forward Michael Lawrence as Super League 2018 gets under way.
The hometown product has spent a season or more dogged by a serious injury, but he is looking towards a healthy campaign and helping the Giants climb back up the ladder.
“It has been a long pre-season and a lot of us have been in since early November, so everyone wants to get started,” said the 27-year-old England Knights international.
“The focus I have had ever since I came back from injury at the end of last year was to stay fit.
“If I can do that this year I will be very happy - stay fit and stay on the field is the focus.”
And Lawrence is hoping the Giants can make a real impact on this season’s competition.
“Every year Super League gets more and more competitive,” said Lawrence.
“While Castleford blew everyone away last year, you still saw clubs like Wakefield and Salford climbing and pushing on.
“It is a lot tighter now than it used to be and if you fail to turn up, either as a player or a team, you are going to get beaten.
“It is great for the fans but, as a player, you know you have to step up.”
Lawrence is sure that the mix at the top of this season in Super League will include the Giants.
“We want to finish as high as possible, but I think that is down to us finding consistency this season, “ he said.
“Last season we had some bad luck with injuries, but if we keep everyone fit in the squad, that will help us finish as high as possible.
“But we have to pay attention to the process of dealing with the season.
“We have the strength in depth but we have to turn that into great achievements.”