Canterbury players have wasted no time throwing shade at former teammate Trent Hodkinson, with prop Sam Kasiano saying he can't wait to make a beeline for the Newcastle halfback.
In what will be Hodkinson's first match against his old club since moving to the Knights, Kasiano is one of several Bulldogs keen to re-acquaint themselves with their former general.
Hodkinson, who was part of Canterbury's 2012 grand final side, spent five years at Belmore before taking a lucrative three-year contract to switch to the Hunter.
"It's going to be very weird. I miss that guy and I can't wait to run at him," Kasiano said on Tuesday.
"I will warn him on (social media application) Whatsapp."
Centre Josh Morris said the banter had already begun with the Knights co-captain.
"It's going to be a little bit different, I'm going over his house on Friday to have dinner with him," Morris said.
"He's obviously missed here by a few of the boys but I think all the boys are looking forward to getting into him. There's been a bit of chat already and I'm sure he's looking forward to it as well."
Halfback Moses Mbye, who now wears the No.7 jersey previously owned by Hodkinson, said he felt for his former teammate in what has been a trying season in Newcastle.
The Knights have won just one game all season and will break a club-record 13-game losing streak with another loss at Hunter Stadium on Saturday.
Hodkinson was also axed from the NSW State of Origin team this year.
"He's doing a fantastic job, he's in an experienced side and a side that is rebuilding. He's doing a good job, taken a lot on his shoulders," Mbye said.
"I do keep in touch with him every now and again. He's doing well, he's upbeat and happy and the club's going in the right direction.
"He's not getting the results he probably wanted to going up there but he's continuing to keep his head down. He's not kicking stones."