Ritson ready to kick off 2018 season

Newcastle Thunder new boy Theerapol Ritson says Saturday’s pre-season friendly against Castleford Tigers is going to provide him and his team-mates with a useful barometer of their progress in training, as the new look squad plays in its first game.

Tee as Ritson is known joined the club from Workington Town in the off-season after lighting up League 1 with some dazzling displays in 2017 and is eager to see how a side that has welcomed a number of new faces over the winter has gelled together.

Speaking to ThunderRugby.com Ritson said:” It’ll be a good pointer to where we are as a squad and what we need to work on in the future and I’m looking forward to it. It’ll be good to blow some cobwebs off.

“It’s going to be a tough game and it is going to be really physical and it’s going to be a good opportunity for the new lads like myself to show our new fans what we can do.”

With Tigers head coach Daryl Powell naming plenty of Super League regulars in his squad for the game, Thunder are facing a tough challenge in their first hit out, but one that Ritson says will provide plenty to use as they gear up for the start of the League 1 season.

He added: “The season starts in three weeks and I think it’s an ideal time to start playing friendlies. It will be a good experience for us and a good run out as a team because there are a few new lads and it will be good to play together for the first time

“In friendlies I don’t think it’s ever really about the result, its more about reflecting on your own performances and the team performances and pointing out where you need to improve and as I said, I think Saturday will do that.”

Having been back preparing for the upcoming campaign since November, Ritson has acclimatised well to his new surroundings and has enjoyed the challenge of his first Thunder pre season.

He said: “It’s been a really tough pre-season but Payney and Heapy and the rest of the guys have done a really good job. They’ve been tough on us and it’s been hard at times but it is really going to benefit us.

“The facilities are great so we’re able to do stuff that I’ve not been able to in the past thanks to the equipment and the gym and stuff and I’ve really enjoyed it so far. We’ve had three sessions a week so you get plenty of time together with the lads and from day one I’ve felt welcome and have gelled in really well.”

Tickets for the match are available to book by clicking here, calling 0871 226 6060 or by visiting the Kingston Park Stadium box office.