Liam Watts has spoken of the extra motivation he gets from playing in front of Castleford Tigers fans at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
After starting out as a youngster at Castleford the front rower made his name in Super League with Hull and Hull KR, but returned to his hometown club last year and is relishing running out to play in front of so many of his friends and family week-in, week-out at the Wheldon Road ground.
He said: “I’m not saying I know all the Cas fans, but I do know quite a large percentage with family and friends who come down here supporting us.
“When you turn round on that back line and you can see them all singing and cheering – and I’ve got my two lads in the crowd as well – it does give you that little bit of extra motivation.
“When the fans get behind you it really does give you a boost.
“You see Cas fans wearing their shirts with pride everywhere. It’s a small community and a real rugby league town.
“I wasn’t at the club then, but I think when Cas got to the Grand Final I think 80 per cent of the town went -– I think there was only me left here!
“It’s good to see. The town needs us and it’s a part of people’s lives. They do look forward to watching games week in, week out.”
Watts feels he is fully settled back in at Cas now after making his move back part way through last season.
He added: “It was a bit of a disruption coming into a team half-way through a year, it can be a bit tricky.
“Coming back to the Jungle was not going to be a struggle to fit in as I knew lot of faces, but on the other hand it’s just what you are used to and the surroundings you have.
“I was still serving a ban and I got injured with my calf and stuff so it was a bit stop-start. At the back end of the season I was just finding my feet again, playing-wise I was enjoying it then the season just stopped.
“I had to think what do I do now? So I had to get ready to have a decent pre-season and that’s what I did.”