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Kallum Watkins

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Has shown this season he is the best centre we have in the country. His pace strength and agility is something which many teams struggle to handle.

But how does he compare to Aussie and Kiwi centres? He's obviously not better than Inglis IMO, but how does he compare to the likes of Hodges, Jennings, Matai, Lyon, Kenny Dowell, Tonga and Morris.

Is he someone the Aussies and Kiwis should fear or is he someone no better than they've already got?

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Lyon, Jennings and Matai would be well in front of him for me.

Inglis stands on his own.

Watkins would make a decent NRL centre, no question.

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Has shown this season he is the best centre we have in the country. His pace strength and agility is something which many teams struggle to handle.

But how does he compare to Aussie and Kiwi centres? He's obviously not better than Inglis IMO, but how does he compare to the likes of Hodges, Jennings, Matai, Lyon, Kenny Dowell, Tonga and Morris.

Is he someone the Aussies and Kiwis should fear or is he someone no better than they've already got?

Don't disagree with Koncrete too much but I don't rate Matai, he's just a tough bloke, can be a bit of a thug and a liability to hs team.

Other than that the comparisons a bit unfair as all those mentioned are much older and more experienced, how would Watkins compare with other 21 year olds from the NRL

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Funnily enough, Watkins has only played 1 game at centre this year due to the injuries to Hardaker and Jones-Bishop.

He showed Matai up at centre last year in the WCC though, beating him dead on 2 or 3 occasions and making a strong defender look average.

IMHO, as a Leeds fan, Watkins is in the top 5 attacking wise and can do some very special things with ball in hand, but isn't there yet with his defensive work.

The only way I can ever see him becoming one of the worlds top outside backs though is if he moves to the NRL and gets to play against the top stars.

In last weeks round of NRL games, the left centres (Watkins plays right) lined up:

Shaun Kenny-Dowall

Matt Cooper

Justin O'Neill

Konrad Hurrell

Steve Matai

Bryson Goodwin

Kane Linnett

Blake Ferguson

Chris Lawrence

Justin Hodges

Jamal Idris

Timana Tahu

Jon Wright

Tim Lafai (2nd choice left centre at the Dogs, would walk into any SL team. Kris Inu is 1st choice)

Dean Whare

Jacob Loko

Not all stars but lets compare them to the left centres in SL last week:

Joel Moon

Luke George

Ryan Atkins

Keith Lulia

Joe Wardle

Jean Phillipe Baille

Dan Sarginson

Josh Jones

Martin Gleeson

Jordan Thompson

Ben Crooks

Ian Thornley

Cam Phelps

Reece Lyne

Not every team has a star at left centre in the NRL but 75% of those would walk into any SL team. If he is to ever see out his undoubted potential, he has to play against and with the best.

For Comparisons sake too. The right centres (who Watkins would be vying for a place over in the NRL) in both leagues last week:

NRL

Michael Jennings

Chase Stanley

Will Chambers

Jerome Ropati

Jamie Lyon

Beau Champion

Brent Tate

Jarrod Croker

Blake Ayshford

Jack Reed

Luke O'Dwyer

Dane Gagai

Ben Pomeroy

Josh Morris

Lewis Brown

Cheyse Blair

SL

Carl Ablett

Liam Salter

Adrian Purtell

Simon Grix

Leroy Cudjoe

Mathias Pala

Jordan Turner

James Mendieka

Kirk Yeaman

Darrell Goulding

Chris Dean

Dean Collis

A lot of stars on the right in Australia. Watkins would fit somewhere, but even as the best attacking centre in England, would struggle to shift the majority of those guys right now.

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Funnily enough, Watkins has only played 1 game at centre this year due to the injuries to Hardaker and Jones-Bishop.

He showed Matai up at centre last year in the WCC though, beating him dead on 2 or 3 occasions and making a strong defender look average.

IMHO, as a Leeds fan, Watkins is in the top 5 attacking wise and can do some very special things with ball in hand, but isn't there yet with his defensive work.

The only way I can ever see him becoming one of the worlds top outside backs though is if he moves to the NRL and gets to play against the top stars.

In last weeks round of NRL games, the left centres (Watkins plays right) lined up:

Shaun Kenny-Dowall

Matt Cooper

Justin O'Neill

Konrad Hurrell

Steve Matai

Bryson Goodwin

Kane Linnett

Blake Ferguson

Chris Lawrence

Justin Hodges

Jamal Idris

Timana Tahu

Jon Wright

Tim Lafai (2nd choice left centre at the Dogs, would walk into any SL team. Kris Inu is 1st choice)

Dean Whare

Jacob Loko

Not all stars but lets compare them to the left centres in SL last week:

Joel Moon

Luke George

Ryan Atkins

Keith Lulia

Joe Wardle

Jean Phillipe Baille

Dan Sarginson

Josh Jones

Martin Gleeson

Jordan Thompson

Ben Crooks

Ian Thornley

Cam Phelps

Reece Lyne

Not every team has a star at left centre in the NRL but 75% of those would walk into any SL team. If he is to ever see out his undoubted potential, he has to play against and with the best.

For Comparisons sake too. The right centres (who Watkins would be vying for a place over in the NRL) in both leagues last week:

NRL

Michael Jennings

Chase Stanley

Will Chambers

Jerome Ropati

Jamie Lyon

Beau Champion

Brent Tate

Jarrod Croker

Blake Ayshford

Jack Reed

Luke O'Dwyer

Dane Gagai

Ben Pomeroy

Josh Morris

Lewis Brown

Cheyse Blair

SL

Carl Ablett

Liam Salter

Adrian Purtell

Simon Grix

Leroy Cudjoe

Mathias Pala

Jordan Turner

James Mendieka

Kirk Yeaman

Darrell Goulding

Chris Dean

Dean Collis

A lot of stars on the right in Australia. Watkins would fit somewhere, but even as the best attacking centre in England, would struggle to shift the majority of those guys right now.

I agree with most of your analysis here, but I think that given the chance Watkins probably would displace a lot of those right centres. I don't know what his contract situation is, but I'd expect NRL clubs to try and get him over to Oz in the next couple of seasons.

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Yeaman would av done well in NRL 4 year ago

 

 

No. Not while I have a hole in my anorak.

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Good grief do you NRL-o-philes even watch the NRL games?

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You forgot to mention Crooks is second choice behind Kirk Yeaman ;)

Funnily enough, Watkins has only played 1 game at centre this year due to the injuries to Hardaker and Jones-Bishop.

He showed Matai up at centre last year in the WCC though, beating him dead on 2 or 3 occasions and making a strong defender look average.

IMHO, as a Leeds fan, Watkins is in the top 5 attacking wise and can do some very special things with ball in hand, but isn't there yet with his defensive work.

The only way I can ever see him becoming one of the worlds top outside backs though is if he moves to the NRL and gets to play against the top stars.

In last weeks round of NRL games, the left centres (Watkins plays right) lined up:

Shaun Kenny-Dowall
Matt Cooper
Justin O'Neill
Konrad Hurrell
Steve Matai
Bryson Goodwin
Kane Linnett
Blake Ferguson
Chris Lawrence
Justin Hodges
Jamal Idris
Timana Tahu
Jon Wright
Tim Lafai (2nd choice left centre at the Dogs, would walk into any SL team. Kris Inu is 1st choice)
Dean Whare
Jacob Loko

Not all stars but lets compare them to the left centres in SL last week:

Joel Moon
Luke George
Ryan Atkins
Keith Lulia
Joe Wardle
Jean Phillipe Baille
Dan Sarginson
Josh Jones
Martin Gleeson
Jordan Thompson
Ben Crooks
Ian Thornley
Cam Phelps
Reece Lyne

Not every team has a star at left centre in the NRL but 75% of those would walk into any SL team. If he is to ever see out his undoubted potential, he has to play against and with the best.

For Comparisons sake too. The right centres (who Watkins would be vying for a place over in the NRL) in both leagues last week:

NRL

Michael Jennings
Chase Stanley
Will Chambers
Jerome Ropati
Jamie Lyon
Beau Champion
Brent Tate
Jarrod Croker
Blake Ayshford
Jack Reed
Luke O'Dwyer
Dane Gagai
Ben Pomeroy
Josh Morris
Lewis Brown
Cheyse Blair

SL

Carl Ablett
Liam Salter
Adrian Purtell
Simon Grix
Leroy Cudjoe
Mathias Pala
Jordan Turner
James Mendieka
Kirk Yeaman
Darrell Goulding
Chris Dean
Dean Collis

A lot of stars on the right in Australia. Watkins would fit somewhere, but even as the best attacking centre in England, would struggle to shift the majority of those guys right now.

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For Comparisons sake too. The right centres (who Watkins would be vying for a place over in the NRL) in both leagues last week:

NRL

Michael Jennings

Chase Stanley

Will Chambers

Jerome Ropati

Jamie Lyon

Beau Champion

Brent Tate

Jarrod Croker

Blake Ayshford

Jack Reed

Luke O'Dwyer

Dane Gagai

Ben Pomeroy

Josh Morris

Lewis Brown

Cheyse Blair

A lot of stars on the right in Australia. Watkins would fit somewhere, but even as the best attacking centre in England, would struggle to shift the majority of those guys right now.

I love the NRL but I think your giving it too

much respect. I'd take Watkins over all those centres except Jennings Lyon and Morris. I even think I'm being generous there. He's not far off and might be better than Jennings already. He might not be a better player than Lyons but given both their ages he would definatly be a better investment. That only leaves Morris who he couldn't shift who along with Hurral is going to be in the top few centres over the next ten years.

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You forgot to mention Crooks is second choice behind Kirk Yeaman ;)

Yeaman played in that game. Did you read my list of right centres?

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Also, look at the start of my post. I said Watkins is in the top 5 attacking wise. His defence, although not bad, isn't great and that's what would let him down over there. I watch a lot of the NRL every week and the quality of centre is a lot greater than over here throughout. All those who say different are just kidding themselves. The "average" defenders over there are only average because of the class of opposition. They are still better than the majority over here.

When you have Dean Collis as a good SL centre, you know something isn't quite right with our standard of outside backs.

Also, I'm not an "NRL-lover". I watch both leagues and can see with my own eyes the difference throughout. As well as Leeds and Wigan are playing this year, they would still be off the mark that Melbourne, Souths, Manly, and Easts are setting at the moment. They'd be comparable with the mid table though.

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I'd kill for us to get Jamal Idris at the bulls.

 

Really? He has been well off the pace this season. In fact, I would go as far to say he has been targetted in defence this season, due to his lack of lateral movement.

 

As for Watkins, if he tightens up his defence he could become one of the best centres this country has produced.

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Also, look at the start of my post. I said Watkins is in the top 5 attacking wise. His defence, although not bad, isn't great and that's what would let him down over there. I watch a lot of the NRL every week and the quality of centre is a lot greater than over here throughout. All those who say different are just kidding themselves. The "average" defenders over there are only average because of the class of opposition. They are still better than the majority over here.

When you have Dean Collis as a good SL centre, you know something isn't quite right with our standard of outside backs.

Also, I'm not an "NRL-lover". I watch both leagues and can see with my own eyes the difference throughout. As well as Leeds and Wigan are playing this year, they would still be off the mark that Melbourne, Souths, Manly, and Easts are setting at the moment. They'd be comparable with the mid table though.

I watch both leagues as well infact I haven't missed an NRL game this year apart from those I've recorded this weekend and haven't yet watched. I stand by what I've said there's not many right centres that would keep him out. Of course on the whole the NRL is a better standard but your kidding yourself if you don't think the likes of him Ryan Hall and Tomkins wouldn't go well over there

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I watch both leagues as well infact I haven't missed an NRL game this year apart from those I've recorded this weekend and haven't yet watched. I stand by what I've said there's not many right centres that would keep him out. Of course on the whole the NRL is a better standard but your kidding yourself if you don't think the likes of him Ryan Hall and Tomkins wouldn't go well over there

At what point did I say he wouldn't go well over there? I have the added advantage that I watch him every week and he is a player who could sell tickets. His abilities with ball in hand are unlike anything I have seen in a centre from this country since I started watching in '94. He can be frail in defence when someone has got a bit of speed up though. Watkins would go brilliantly in the NRL, I have no doubt about it, but he still has a lot to work on. As far as 22 year olds go, he must be near the top of that list. My original point was that if we ever want to see him reach his potential, he would have to move to the NRL and play the best defensive centres every week. It will also help him defensively to play against what are in general, a lot better attacking centres there.

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Yeaman played in that game. Did you read my list of right centres?

Yeaman always plays on the left. Crooks was in the right.

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No. Not while I have a hole in my anorak.

Former England international Kirk Yeaman wouldn't have done well in the NRL?

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Yeaman always plays on the left. Crooks was in the right.

I was just going on the team lists for that week. Either way, he played.

Left side is where the strongest centres seem to play in the UK but the right seems a lot stronger in Aus. Maybe it's to do with the fact most of our players can only pass accurately to the left.

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Harrigan, I respect your opinion on the NRL, but you've got a lot of those left and right centres mixed up. I assume you've gone by the numbers on players' backs rather than which side of the field they actually play on, but I can't be bothered checking that. It should've stood out to you though that Lafai plays on the right and J Moz on the left.

As for comparing Watkins to other young centres, Blake Ferguson is 23 but I wouldn't trade him for Kallum. Over the last 12 months, I rate Fergo in the top 5 centres in the comp though.

Watkins is a better athlete than our left centre, Jarrod Croker (also 22, already 100 games under his belt), but it'd still be hard for me to to say he'd have to make way, especially since his goal kicking had been so important in our team.

Then there's 20 year old Jack Wighton, who hasn't be given a consistent position in the team yet, but has already made his rep debut for NSW Country and just played the best game of his short career against the Storm at left centre for the injured Croker. Many opposition fans and neutral commentators are keeping an eye on him for higher rep honours, including the eye of NSW Origin coach, Laurie Daley. I already rate him as one of the best defensive centres in the game.

We've also got Edrick Lee, another 20 year old, playing on the wing for us, but dominated the under 20s at centre. He's a massive talent who has fast become NRL quality after looking raw and a bit too skinny last year.

This is the Raiders, a mid table team.

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Yeaman would av done well in NRL 4 year ago

I've always been a fan of Yeaman.

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Tell me when Lyon ever got the better of Yeaman?

I love the NRL but I think your giving it too
much respect. I'd take Watkins over all those centres except Jennings Lyon and Morris. I even think I'm being generous there. He's not far off and might be better than Jennings already. He might not be a better player than Lyons but given both their ages he would definatly be a better investment. That only leaves Morris who he couldn't shift who along with Hurral is going to be in the top few centres over the next ten years.

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Always been suspicious about Watkin's defence, so for a Leeds' fan to confirm it, then he's got a bit to learn before he's a regular international.

 

Or that's how it should be.

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Always been suspicious about Watkin's defence, so for a Leeds' fan to confirm it, then he's got a bit to learn before he's a regular international.

Or that's how it should be.

Well if we had any centres with the same offensive ability as Watkins and superior defensive skills then you'd be right. However...

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I blame sleep deprevation and the time of my post for messing up the left and right :lol:

Still, it showed the strength in depth of centres compared to ours.

As for Watkins defence, it isn't bad! Lets get that straight. In the line he is a good defender now. If he gets isolated though he can have a problem. He should be in the England team though at the end of the year because he does have the ability to turn anyone inside out and we need that. The likelihood is that he will be up against Inglis and that's a matchup I would love to see. He has come out on top against every player he has faced so far but that would be his biggest test.

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