HUNSLET Hawks are gearing up for their New Year’s Day clash away to Featherstone Rovers (kick off 1pm).
It will be the first of five pre-season games for Barry Eaton’s new-look Hawks, who begin with two games in five days as they take on the Hunslet All Stars on Sunday January 6.
Chris Buttery is among a number of new recruits Eaton has captured in the close season as Hunslet aim to improve on their ninth place finish in the Championship last term.
Back row forward Buttery was a regular at Batley before he sustained an injury which forced him into a lengthy lay-off.
Hunslet supporters will also no doubt be eager to see Waine Pryce back in action after he returned to the South Leeds club after a 12 month stint with York City Knights.
Featherstone are a formidable outfit but they will be aiming to bounce back from last season’s Grand Final defeat to Sheffield Eagles after they had led the regular competition for much of last season and finished top of the Championship.
Rovers have signalled their intentions to be a force again in 2013 and have captured highly rated prop Steve Crossley from Dewsbury Rams.
The All Stars game on Sunday week will see the Hawks come up against the best amateur players from South Leeds and that side will consist of 10 players each from Hunslet Old Boys and the Warriors.
Leeds Rhinos, who begin their pre-season programme at home to Wakefield Trinity on Boxing Day, meet Hunslet in the Lazenby Cup on January 27, while the Hawks also tackle a Hunslet Legends side and York before the season proper begins at home to Barrow on February 3.