WORKINGTON TOWN are excited ahead of this weekend's Ike Southward Memorial Tropy match - which will see them trying to bring the trophy and 'bragging rights' back to Derwent Park.

The yearly match in memory of Cumbrian rugby league legend Ike Southward will see the blue and white army take on Whitehaven RLFC for the only game this year, with both sides having their eyes on the prize in what has become a key tradition for the two clubs.

Head coach Anthony Murray say the squad are excited to play the first match of 2023. He said: "We are looking forward to the match, obviously quite excited this will obviously be the first proper game after doing all the pre-season training, the lads have been building up to their first game.

"This Ike Southward match obviously involves a lot of bragging rights, so the lads are excited for it and we just want to get out after all the hard work that has been put in during the pre season."

The team has seen some big changes from the 2022 season, with new players brought into the club from both the community game as well as overseas. 

Anthony said: "There is still quite a lot of experience there from players that have been at Town for quite a long time, and then obviously we have brought quite a lot of new faces in from the community game - so we've got a good balance of experience and some youth, some fresh players who are being introduced.

READ MORE: Whitehaven RL prepares for Ike Southward Trophy match this weekend

"It is a fairly new team so we are looking forward to seeing how they get on, the atmosphere in training has been really good, everyone has been training really hard and people are looking forward to having the season on the way."

Anthony was appointed to the role of head coach late last year after the departure of Chris Thorman and says he has 'really enjoyed' his time so far.

He said: "It's been brilliant, I couldn't ask for anything else, everyone that works at the club, all the directors, everybody has made me feel welcome, everything has been ready just to let me do my job and and the rest of the staff - the staff on the coaching side they have been brilliant, I've been really enjoying it."

The Ike Southward Memorial Match will be held at the LEL arena in Whitehaven on Sunday, January 15 with kick off at 3pm.