GARETH WIDDOP hopes he can still find the consistency that made him an NRL star.
The 33-year-old enjoyed a decade-long career Down Under with Melbourne Storm, where he won the NRL title in 2012, and St George Illawarra Dragons.
But Widdop’s return to England has been less fruitful, with three frustrating seasons at Warrington Wolves, and he is now at Castleford Tigers.
The past five years have not been kind to his body. He suffered three successive shoulder dislocations at the end of his time with the Dragons and a fourth last season at Warrington.
After recovering from his latest surgery, Widdop debuted for his new club in their opening Super League defeat at Hull FC the weekend before last, and he is determined to give everything he has left for Castleford.
“I based my whole career on being able to be a consistent footballer,” Widdop told the latest edition of Rugby League World.
“Thankfully I haven’t had too many injuries over my career, apart from my shoulder in my last years in Australia.
“In my younger days that’s what I was all about, being consistent with each and every performance over a long period of time. That’s something I can hopefully bring to the team and the club.
“It’s about sticking to the process week in, week out, which I know is an old cliché but it’s true and it works. For myself individually, it’s playing consistently, staying injury-free, and helping this team along as best I can.”
Widdop explained what he is doing to give his body the best chance to stay free of issues.
“It’s about managing the body and seeing how the recovery goes. You need to keep a check on how the body’s holding up,” he said.
“You need to get your work done but there’s a time and a place to pull back a bit. As you get older it’s just about doing a bit of extra recovery; doing some stretching, massage, pool, swim, that sort of stuff.”
*The full interview with Gareth Widdop is available in the latest issue of Rugby League World, out now at totalrl.com/shop