Castleford Tigers star Liam Watts: Players are going to have to play longer in games

Liam Watts goes over for his first try in Castleford Tigers colours when they played London Broncos. Picture: Matthew Merrick
Liam Watts goes over for his first try in Castleford Tigers colours when they played London Broncos. Picture: Matthew Merrick

Liam Watts reckons forwards are going to have to get used to playing longer in matches following the reduction in the number of interchanges in Betfred Super League games.

The Castleford Tigers front rower is getting used to longer stints on the field and enjoying the role he has been given with his hometown team.

He is confident he can handle the longer spells and has noticed a difference already in the approach of forwards in the early weeks of the new season.

He told the Express: “With the interchanges as they are now it is going to make forwards have to play longer in games.

“I watched the St Helens - Leeds game last weekend and I think it was the longest I’ve seen Alex Walmsley stay on in one stint.

“You can’t have eight and 10 minute stints now because it does make a big difference with the reduction. You’ve got to save interchanges for any injuries or anything.

“You’ve got to have players who can play big minutes.

“Normally you’d be spelling your back rowers and stuff like that, but you can’t do that anymore and there will be more 80-minute players.

“It hasn’t affected us too much. Obviously I can play decent minutes, Massey can and Millo and the likes of Cooky.

“We’ll just see how it goes over the next couple of months and see if I can play the best I can.”

Watts is understandably pleased with the way the Tigers have started with an unbeaten record so far.

He said: “It’s been a good start to the season, obviously with three from three wins.

“We sat down at the start of the season and said we wanted to gave a really good start and make a name for ourselves.

“I think we’re in a good place.”

On last week’s game at London, Watts reflected on the different travel to the match and how much it helped Cas to produce a good performance.

He added: “It was a tough game. They’d turned Wakefield over and we were aware of that and we weren’t too comfortable in our preparation.

“They’ve got some good players with an attacking threat and some big lads as well.

“We knew we had to stick to our game plan and we knew we could get them in the end.

“We travelled on the day of the game and went down by train. It was a good trip and obviously a good win.

“It’s the first time I’ve been on the train and it really did make a difference instead of being cooped up in a bus for four hours or you’re sat in a hotel all afternoon and all night.

“The weather was good as well and there was just the bus journey back so it was a really good day.”