Castleford Tigers centre Michael Channing does not think he has a point to prove when he returns to former club London Broncos for tonight’s televised Super League clash.
Channing, 21, has started every game so far this season after making the move north when finding out he was not part of head coach Tony Rea’s plans at London last year.
He is looking forward to returning to the capital as part of a successful Tigers side that can go joint top of the table, for a day at least, if they can make it six wins from seven at The Hive. But he bears no grudges against his previous club.
Channing said: “I’ll just play like I would against any team regardless of my history.
“I’m at a club at the moment who like the way I’m playing. They’ve been teaching me a lot of stuff so I don’t feel like I’ve got a point to prove at all.
“It was - not a forced decision (to sign for the Tigers) - but we had our mid-reviews at London and Tony Rea said he wasn’t looking to sign me again so I got in touch with my agent who said there’s a few clubs interested. Cas wanted me there and then so I thought if a club wants me that bad I’m going to go.
“It was obviously tough to leave all my friends and family, but I couldn’t be happier with the decision I’ve made. ”
Southerner Channing is enjoying life in the north and also enjoying a good rapport with the Cas fans.
He said: “I’d never been up north before in my life apart from when I’d played games and then I’d only play at the stadium and go home.
“It is different, but I love it here. Everyone is just so nice!
“But obviously the sport itself is really big up here as well so that’s good as well to see good followers and the fan base here.
“They’re really good fans here and you can tell that especially when you’re at home and they’re all cheering you on. Down London the fan base wasn’t as big. I love playing here. I used to hate coming here with London as it was too loud!”
Channing will come face-to-face with some of his closest friends in the Broncos game.
He added: “I lived with Kieran Dixon, Will Lovall, Erjon Dollapi and Mike McMeeken so it was a pretty full house and you can imagine the sort of things we got up to.
“It was in the middle of Kingston. We were given an Academy house by the club and it was good living with them day in, day out.
“I still speak to them all the time. Living with them like that means they are a lot of my real close friends and I’d been playing with them too for nearly three years.
“It’ll be interesting to play against them now and have a go at my old club.”
Channing has retained his place in the squad for the London trip, but there are two changes with James Clare set to play his first Super League game of the season after recovering from a sternum injury.
He comes in on the wing with Richard Owen left out while 19-year-old Brad Day could make his debut after being included in place of Jake Webster, who is set to be out a couple of weeks with a groin injury picked up at Salford – his second game back after a near 12 month absence.