Castleford Tigers forward Liam Watts is pleased with the way things are working out on his return to the club following his high profile move from Hull earlier this year (writes Tony Harber).
Watts started out as a junior with the Tigers, but then spent 10 years in Hull with KR and FC before coming back home to make a big impact with his hometown team, with who he is now hoping to help into the Grand Final.
“It’s been good, I’m really enjoying it,” Watts told the Express. “I’m still adapting to the way the team plays and finding my feet. I’m learning every week working with Daryl (Powell).
“I want to finish the season off in style and I’m looking forward to the next two home games. The crowd here makes the games with the backing they give the players.
“I always liked coming back and playing against Cas, but when I’m here every week it’s weird in a good way. It’s great now that I’ve got all my family and friends cheering me on.”
On his own form, Watts said: “I had a few errors in there last week, a couple of forward passes, which were a bit suicidal.
“But this week I’ve been working in training on timing issues and getting players off me a little bit earlier than I did last weekend so I’m looking forward to putting it into practice against Warrington.
“I picked up a calf injury a few weeks back and it just slowed me up for about four weeks. But I had a week off last week and it’s the best I’ve felt.
“I’m looking forward to having a big ending to the year and getting plenty of minutes under my belt.”
Watts played the whole game against Wigan, which he believes he had never previously done in Super League.
He explained: “It was a bit of an achievement, there’s not many players that can play 80 minutes in the middle nowadays with the speed of the game.
“I’ve played a few 70s and a couple of 75s, but I can’t remember a full 80 in Super League. I’ve played 80s in Academies and the under 21s, but I think it might be the first one I’ve played in Super League. I do enjoy playing decent minutes.
“It was a stop-start game, though, and wasn’t fully intense for 80 minutes.”
A strong finish to the season could put Watts in contention for an England place, but he is not expecting an international call-up any time soon.
He added: “I think it may have passed me now.
“I’ve had plenty of opportunities to have been picked, but haven’t so I’m just concentrating on playing well for Cas.
“If anything does arise of it then we’ll see what happens.
“The selectors are obviously watching Cas, but I’m not on the radar at the minute so it’s out of my hands.”