With a solid platform built towards the end of 2017, there is an air of excitement about what the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles can do in this year’s Intrust Super Premiership NSW competition.

Coach Steven Hales did a fine job in taking over the reins halfway through the season with Blacktown Workers finishing strongly after a disappointing start.

The Sea Eagles open their season this afternoon with a tough first game at McDonald Jones Stadium against the Newcastle Knights.

“We have identified a team that wants to be successful, and we have individuals wanting to push for top spots in the NRL team at Manly,’’ said Coach Steven Hales.

“Our props Lloyd Perrett, Toff Sipley, and Taniela Paseka, were very strong against Wyong in our final trial and they will be out to impress against the Knights.

“They are all pushing for spots in the NRL side, so this is a big opportunity for them to really be strong through the middle and play the game on their terms.

“All three bring a real physicality to this team and if they dominate that middle, then we will be a big chance of winning.”

Hales said he was also looking forward to seeing the impact halves Tom Wright and Jackson Hastings can make.

It will be a good early test for Wright against more experienced, hardened men after dominating at five-eighth in the U20s competition last season.

“Jackson and Tom are very skilful and their games are still evolving,’’ Hales said.

“A player like Jackson brings plenty of NRL experience to the team. It is also great for Tommy to come up and play alongside someone like Jackson and they will bounce well off each other.

“We definitely have some real strike power there and against Wyong in our final trial, we scored some nice tries.

“We want to play an attacking and exciting brand of footy and those two players certainly do have the skillset to execute that for us.”

Hales also said supporters should keep an eye out for exciting full-back Honeti Tuha, who will be out for a big game against his former club in Newcastle.

“He is a real livewire Honeti. He loves the footy in his hands and he backs his ability,’’ Hales said.

“We encourage that at Blacktown. We want guys to express themselves on the footy field and he does that.

“He is a real try scorer. He is working hard on other parts of his game and he wants to be a complete footballer. I’m sure when he does that, we will see Honeti playing in the NRL soon.”

Rd 1 Intrust Super Premiership

Newcastle Knights v Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles

McDonald Jones Stadium, Friday, 3.45pm kick-off.

 Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles team

23 Honeti Tuha

2 Jade Anderson

20 Vai Tuitai

19 John Folau 

3 Jono Wright    

6 Tom Wright

7 Jackson Hastings 

8 Lloyd Perrett

9 Manase Fainu

10 Toafofoa Sipley

11 Jack Gosiewski

12 Cody Nelson

18 Taniela Paseka

 Interchange

14 Joey Lussick

15 Tom Amone

22 Fred Junior Mauala 

16 Tyler Cassel 

13 Tekina Vailea