Whilst it was great to see rugby league back on our TV screens with the Roosters and Rabbitohs kicking off the season it will be Saturday night that all Bulldogs members and fans have been waiting for.
The players have been champing at the bit to get out there and we have seen a rise in excitement this week at training as we get closer and closer to kick-off.
With the absence if James Graham (suspended)m Sam Kasiano and Frank Pritchard (both injured) and also Ben Barba, it will be some of the younger Bulldogs who will have to step up and take their chance to perform at NRL level. Both Drury low and David Klemmer are in line to make their Bulldogs NRL debut and both Martin Taupau and Tim Browne looking to establish themselves as permanent members of the NRL side.
On the other side of the field well have a fair opposition to come up against with the likes of Jonathan Thurston, Matt Bowen, Brent Tate, Matt Scott and James Tamou all keen to get the Cowboys campaign off to a good start.
Well be starting again, forward Aiden Tolman said. 2013 is a new year and whilst it was a disappointing finish to last year our full focus is now on this season and the of course the Cowboys first up.
They have a stack of talent spread across the whole park so whilst we have focused on our preparations we have had a look at their dangers and have a fair idea of what we will be up against.
When asked how the absence of Barba will affect the squad, the 24-year-old believes it wont be as much of a change as people may think.
Benny obviously has that individual class and the instinct to make something out of nothing but I think in relation to our set plays and so on, we definitely have the men that can step in and play that role.
Weve had a lot of guys train there throughout the pre-season so now is as good a time as any to give them their chance.
Back rower Tony Williams will be another player who will also be making his Bulldogs NRL debut and believes the transition between his former club and the blue and whites has been easy and something that has helped his preparations.
Ive fit in easily, its been a smooth transition, Williams said.
Weve got some big boys here and its been fun. Well share the workload because there is some great talent here.
There are plenty of tickets still available so pre-purchase your tickets through Ticketek on 132 849 or at ticketek.com.au