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Knowles: Ready to go? That doesn't need asking!


Sitting out of the Eagles’ two pre-season games has been frustrating to say the least for Brad Knowles.

The forward is available for this Sunday’s league opener against Halifax after the last two matches of his four-game suspension were wiped by the club’s friendlies.

Near enough an ever-present for Sheffield in his debut year, Knowles’ lack of game time in pre-season has made him “raring to go”.

“I have missed out on a couple of games’ match fitness but as far as being 'ready to go’ is concerned, it doesn’t really need asking,” he confirmed.

“I’m more raring to go now than I’ve ever been I think.

“Missing the friendlies and having to sit out and watch is frustrating.

“Watching them do the extra game at Keighley, partly down to me, is frustrating as well but I want to start the season right personally and for us as a team.”

Knowles has acknowledged the club’s tough start to the Championship season, with Halifax up first followed by Leigh Centurions and Toulouse Olympique.

The forward’s approach is simple: “One way of looking at it is that we have to play them at some point so why not knock off these big teams before we play the so-called ‘lesser teams’ a few weeks later,”

“It’s going to be a tough month for us and we have to keep our standards high or we are not going to start as well as we did last year.

“You want to hit the ground running and get a few wins under your belt.”

With Scott Wheeldon and Frankie Mariano bolstering the forward pack, Knowles is happy to see two of his former teammates from his Featherstone days join him at Sheffield.

The experience the duo bring will be key for the younger players in the squad who have already impressed in pre-season, according to the front-rower.

“I’ve played with Frankie and Wheelo at Fev and they are both big, experienced forwards and have been around the game for long enough that these young lads can pick up some tips and learn,”

“The likes of Rory, Burnsy, Lewis, they’ve all kicked on this pre-season with the training they have been putting in.

“Rory has been absolutely outstanding, he’s really put it in and it’s been an extra push for them (youngsters) as well as for myself to try and get a match day shirt for the first week.”

By Dan Fowler, photo by Alex Coleman