He made his name as one of the most exciting right wingers throughout the world of Rugby League – but Josh Charnley admits that he is still learning to adapt to life on the other side this season.
With the form of Dom Manfredi on the right and the departure of Joe Burgess to the NRL, the left wing spot became the only one available at the end of last season – but it is one that Charnley has taken with both hands so far, with only a brief spell out of the team due to injury hindering his 2016 thus far.
And ahead of tonight’s clash against Super League champions, Charnley revealed that even though he’s still playing on the wing, the challenge of playing on a completely different side of the field is a tough one to get to grips with.
“It’s different on the left, and it’s a role I’m still learning,” he said.
“At the weekend I came up with a bit too many errors they scored from, so I was a bit harsh with myself. It’s difficult though coming in and playing on another side; it might not seem it but there’s lots of things different about it than playing on the right. I’m getting there, though. We’re only four weeks into the season.
“When I was with Daz (Goulding) I knew what I was doing; he’d do something and I’d instinctively follow him.
“I’m now on the other side coming in off a different foot, tackling with a different shoulder but it’s a new role and something I’m relishing. I’ve never played there before, ever. It’s my job and I’ve got to do the best I can out there for the team.”
By playing on the left, Charnley avoids a confrontation with fellow England international Ryan Hall this evening, and he admits that it is a battle he has enjoyed taking on in the past.
“I enjoy that battle with Ryan Hall; you’re playing against an England international and you want to get the better of him – it’s that little competition that kicks you on.
“It brings the best out of you and it’ll certainly be a different challenge not facing him when we’re playing Leeds, but hopefully Dom Manfredi can get the best out of him.”
However, there will likely be another showdown with an England team-mate – Rhinos centre Kallum Watkins.
“I know how good Kallum is. He’s a dangerous individual and they’ve got those throughout their team. It’ll be an exciting game even with the league positions of the two teams.
“There’s plenty of mutual respect there with there being plenty of England guys in both camps, but when it comes to game night we put that to one side and try do the best for our team.”