Mickey Paea set for family affair as Hull KR face Catalan Dragons in Super League 2013 opener
HULL KR prop Mickey Paea is relishing the start of the new season more than most.
With the Robins' opening fixture against Catalan Dragons pitting him against his brother Lopini, Paea is keen to beat his elder brother for the first time.
Lopini scored in the first meeting in Perpignan in March last year, before helping the French side knock Rovers out of the Challenge Cup at the first attempt.
But with Rovers welcoming the Dragons to MS3 Craven Park on Sunday, February 3, Mickey would rather have come up against his brother a little later in the season.
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"It's always good playing against him but I would prefer to have played a few games to get into the swing of things," he told the Mail.
"Playing Catalan at home will be a good first game and we owe them one after running them so close in three games last season.
"I'm looking forward to squaring up to Lopini again because I haven't beaten him yet."
Not only does Lopini hold the bragging rights in terms of games won, he also has a try to his name in the series. He scored one of his side's three tries as the Dragons beat KR 20-12 at the Stade Gilbert Brutus on March 17.
But Mickey believes he cancelled that try out in the following game.
"I reckon I scored in the Challenge Cup game, but the referee got there too late to award the try," he said.
"I know I scored but Lopini claims he got underneath the ball and held me up.
"I'm sure there is photographic evidence of me scoring!
"It was special to play alongside him back in Australia and playing against him is just as special."
CATALAN have announced the June 22 meeting will be played at Toulouse's Stade Ernest Wallon.