Daily Star

Warriors look strong for Super League title defence

- by MARK PEARSON

THE 2024 Betfred Super League season got underway with a bang courtesy of a 22-0 win for Hull KR over their city rivals Hull FC on Thursday night.

Champions Wigan Warriors are hot favourites to go back-to-back, having added some eye-catching recruits to their squad, including England internatio­nal Luke Thompson (right) and former Leeds Rhinos skipper Kruise Leeming.

Leeming’s former teammates at Headingley will themselves fancy a tilt at silverware this season, having had perhaps the most impressive recruitmen­t campaign.

Rohan Smith has bought in 2022 Man of Steel Brodie Croft alongside his former Salford team-mate Andy Ackers, as Rhinos look to banish the memory of missing out on the play-offs last time around.

There will also be keener interest than ever in the fortunes of Warrington Wolves, with Sam Burgess taking his first head coach role with the club.

The Wire (7-4) get life under Burgess started with perhaps the most difficult fixture of them all, a trip to South of France to take on last season’s runners-up, Catalans Dragons (1-2).

Super League welcomes the BBC as broadcaste­rs in 2024, and the free-to-air action gets underway with reigning champions Wigan taking on Castleford Tigers.

All logic points towards an easy win for Wigan (1-6) against a Tigers (9-2) side tipped to struggle, but new head coach Craig Lingard has Danny Maguire, joining his coaching staff and has a much-improved squad to the one that battled relegation.

Dark horses might be a bit strong, but Tigers could spring a few surprises.

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