Rabbitohs forward George Burgess already has his eye on the first hit out of 2018 when South Sydney take on 2017 World Club Champions Wigan Warriors.
Like the Rabbitohs, the English Super League giants are the all-time most successful club in their nation, leading the way with 21 championships.
As one of the ESL's “bench mark” teams, Burgess knows that the upcoming clash isn’t going to be any ordinary trial match - with the big Englishman looking forward to testing his early season form against some familiar faces.
“Wigan are the bench mark in their competition.”
“They’re always in the top three or four sides in the league, they’ve got great standards and great defence so it’s going to be a tough game,” Burgess said.
The Lancashire side is packed with both Super League talent and former NRL players, boasting a team that is dangerous right across the park and will be led by inspirational England International captain, Sean O’Loughlin.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he said.
“I’d say Souths and Wigan are very similar, they’ve got a lot of parallels in their games and have had similar type of coaching methods throughout the years so I reckon it’s going to be a good match.”
“Being from that part of the world I will know a few of the faces in that team, so it will be good to see them and test out our skills that we have been practising this pre-season.
The matchup will take place on Saturday 17 February as part of a historic double header at ANZ stadium, which will also feature a game between ESL side Hull KR and St George Illawarra Dragons.
“It’s going to be cool. It’s going to be something different playing against a Super League team in the pre-season. It’s not something that we have done before,” added Burgess.
“Obviously I want to get through it injury free and get a good hit out, hopefully get some good minutes and maybe get a cheeky try.”