ROWAN Milnes insists the squad are ‘raring to go’ ahead of Sunday's Betfred Championship opener against London Broncos – having spoken of his determination to kick on in 2020.

The half-back enjoyed a breakthrough spell in 2019 before a leg injury against Halifax ended his season early.

Milnes was influential alongside Jordan Lilley and that partnership is set to reunite once more to lead John Kear’s side around the park this term.

Milnes, 20, admits ‘smart rugby’ is needed this weekend in difficult conditions against one of the favourites for promotion.

He said: “Sunday should be a tough game but we are all looking forward to it – they came down from Super League and have been tipped to go back up so we are raring to go.

“They are a good team, this Championship gets tougher and tougher but we are just focusing on ourselves and getting ourselves ready for Sunday.

“The way we played against York was a massive boost after Dewsbury and hopefully we can take some of those aspects into London.

“We have had time to adapt to Dewsbury’s pitch now and we will adapt the way we play accordingly so we are ready to come out firing on Sunday. It is all about playing smart and getting those two points on Sunday along with a load of enthusiasm and energy like we saw against York.

“It should be a good atmosphere – hopefully the fans can turn up in numbers and they have pulled us through so many games before. Hopefully they can help us ambush London in round one.”

Meanwhile, head coach Kear believes the start to the new season will provide an ‘acid test’ for his players – with Bulls up against promotion contenders in each of their three opening fixtures.

Danny Ward’s Broncos’ first game back from Super League sees them travel to the Tetley’s Stadium boasting the likes of Kieran Dixon and Eddie Battye.

A trip to tackle York City Knights and a mouthwatering clash with Featherstone Rovers for Kear’s young side follow in a testing start to Bradford’s second year in the second tier.

The immediate focus is a ‘well coached, energetic’ London Broncos – with the Bradford boss insisting his players will have to be on their mettle.

“It is a really difficult start – not just London but the first three games, they are all teams who finished above us and in London, come down from Super League,” said Kear.

“I am delighted with that because what it will allow us to do is see where we are at – what we have done well, what needs consolidating and addressing.

“The immediate focus however is London and it will be difficult – they are a very well coached side full of energy, with a very high work rate.

“Eddie Battye is one of the best offloaders in the country, they have two new halves who look good and and two lightning wingers who are very, very quick indeed.

“We need to nullify their threats and exploit any weaknesses but Danny Ward and Langers (Jamie Langley) will have worked hard to make sure their players are as ready as we have ours.

“There is no bedding in excuses – it is the first game in anger and we know we have to be good.”