Australian half-back Tyrone Roberts is hoping to fire in coming weeks

Tyrone Roberts
Tyrone Roberts

Australian half-back Tyrone Roberts has waited six months for the warm weather he was promised on his arrival in England and now he is hoping to make hay while the sun shines.

Much was expected of the 26-year-old when he was signed by Warrington as their marquee player for 2018 but he endured a difficult start in Betfred Super League as the Wolves lost four of their first six matches under new coach Steve Price.

However, the Wolves' fortunes have been transformed by a 10-match winning run which sets them up nicely for their derby clash with Wigan at the Dacia Magic Weekend in Newcastle on Saturday.

"It was quite tough to adjust, especially with the conditions and how cold it was," Roberts said. "They said it was going to be warm after the end of February and I was waiting for that.

"I also had some niggles I was trying to get over and I was getting used to playing with Kev (Brown). He was in the World Cup and I only had two weeks training with the whole squad.

"But we've come on in leaps and bounds and everything is looking great now."

The Wolves are one of only two teams to have beaten Wigan this season but the Warriors had just made their whistle-stop trip to Australia when they last met.

"That was early in the season and they'd just come back from Oz so they weren't prepared," Roberts said.

"They're a tough, physical side and, if you don't turn up, they're going to dish it up. Mentally we have to be prepared for a hard battle."

The clash between the teams placed second and third in the table promises to be the highlight on day one at St James' Park.

The weekend kicks off with a clash between Toulouse and Toronto, the top two teams in the Betfred Championship, and that is followed by the derby between leaders St Helens and lowly Widnes.

There are eighteen points between them in the table but Saints winger Tommy Makinson knows all too well how the Magic Weekend can change fortunes.

He was in the St Helens team that went into last year's event reeling from a 53-10 Challenge Cup hammering at Castleford only to turn form its head with a 45-0 rout of Hull in coach Justin Holbrook's first match in charge.

"Last year, we were the underdogs and look what happened," Makinson said. "These events can help you kick-start your season and give you a lift.

"Sadly, they're sitting at the wrong end of the ladder at the minute but I think they're a great team."

The match will mark the 200th appearance in the British game of Widnes' Australian full-back Rhys Hanbury.

Last season's grand finalists Leeds and Castleford will bring down the curtain on a mouth-watering first day.

The Rhinos enjoyed the spoils at Old Trafford but the Tigers got their revenge at Elland Road in March, holding on for a nail-biting 25-24 victory after at one time leading 24-0.

"We need a better start," Leeds half-back Richie Myler said.

"They're a very talented side and, if you give them enough opportunities, they will hurt you."

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