KYLE WOOD has admitted he will be full of pride when he leads the Giants into pre-season battle at Batley Bulldogs tomorrow (2.00).
The exciting 21-year-old half-back will lead out a talented young line-up, including new signings Joe Wardle (from Bradford Bulls), Matty Dawson (Castleford), Jon Molloy and Matt Sarsfield (both Wigan) for the first time.
And Wood admits he can’t wait to get back onto the field after such a tough pre-season programme.
“Being named as captain for tomorrow is a great boost for me and an honour,” he said.
“Hopefully I can go out there and put in a big performance to start the year and lead the side around well.
“It’s been a really good pre-season and a lot of hard work has been put in by all the squad over the winter. It’s exciting to get the chance to put training into practice and we are all looking forward to a game.
“There are a lot of talented and enthusiastic players in the line-up and everyone has worked hard over the last couple of months to get to the point of playing a game.
“Physically, everyone feels a lot more advanced and I’m sure there are a few lads who feel like they can play in the first team this year. The Batley game is the first chance to show they can do that.”
Following a five-game loan spell at Castleford Tigers in 2010, Wood is himself keen to make the step up to the Giants Super League line up in the forthcoming campaign on the back of a strong pre-season.
Although Wood and Giants teammate Jamie Cording are also on dual registration deals with Sheffield Eagles.
“Paul Watson has come in as conditioner and he has worked us really hard in pre-season,” he added.
“He’s a tough but very positive person and I think he is going to make us mentally stronger as a result of what we have been doing.
“I want to make my debut for the Giants in the first team this year and hopefully play as many games as I can, it’s up to me to take my chance as and when it comes to me.
“I feel a lot more confident this year and hopefully I can take that out onto the field.”
Wood gained experience in the Championship with a dual registration deal at Karl Harrison’s side last season and admits he is expecting a tough encounter.
“I’m sure I’ll take a bit of stick off the lads,” he added.
“But I can’t wait for the game and, physically, I’m sure it should be a great encounter because Batley have some big lads.
“They are a good side but we are focusing on ourselves and there are a lot of our players who are ready for a good hit-out.”