Nick Scruton is relishing his latest return to Leeds on Sunday as he continues his road to recovery after two injury-plagued seasons.
The Bulls prop showed glimpses of his best form during last weekend’s opening pre-season friendly win against Dewsbury.
Scruton’s display encouraged hopes that he could enjoy a big year in 2013 following injuries related to his wrist and shoulder and being diagnosed with diabetes.
The 28-year-old tasted Super League title success and World Club Challenge glory during his time at Headingley and will be among a number of former Leeds players returning to their old club for Danny McGuire’s testimonial.
“It’ll be a significant step up this week against Leeds because I’ll be able to see where I really am and where we are as a team,” said Scruton.
“Last year I didn’t really offer anything so it felt great to get out there against Dewsbury.
“There were some good signs from a lot of players last week and I think Franny (Cummins) has got the best out of everyone so far.
“Having a full pre-season has helped and I just feel a lot fitter and a lot stronger, although I think the same could be said of a few players.
“It would be nice to establish myself as a starting prop but if Franny wants me to come off the bench, I’m happy to do that.”
Scruton progressed through the ranks at Leeds to play alongside McGuire in the Rhinos’ first team and is a huge fan of the mercurial half-back.
“We both came through the Academy together, although Maggsy was two years above me, and we go way back,” said Scruton.
“I’m proud to be a part of his testimonial. I’m glad that it’s Leeds versus Bradford and that I get a chance to play in it.
“Danny’s a class player and would be in an all-time Super League dream team, without doubt.
“He’s one of the good guys in the game and I hope everybody turns up to support him because he’s one of the best.”
Scruton crossed the great divide when he swapped Leeds for Bradford ahead of the 2009 season.
He said: “I get a mixed reception when I go back there but it’s always good to catch up with a few friends. It should be a good test for us.”