COLUMN: Judge Liam Watts at the end of his time with Castleford

After Liam Watts’ latest altercation with Dom Crosby in Hull FC’s defeat of Warrington, it appears that Lee Radford has lost his patience with Watts and he’s had to look for pastures new.

What better place than his home-town club!

Watts has joined Castleford Tigers on a three-year deal from Hull after a largely successful six-year spell with the Black and Whites which included the club’s well-documented Wembley victories in 2016 and 2017 and calls for the prop to represent England.

But his reputation has been damaged by recent misdemeanours on the pitch including three red cards and a yellow card in 2017 and a red already in 2018.

We all know that Castleford, in recent years, have made a habit of giving perceived “bad boys” a second chance when their club has had enough.

Cas as a club will be hoping that it’s third time lucky after recent punts on Rangi Chase and Zak Hardaker, the latter particularly, backfired spectacularly.

Unfortunately, other club’s track record when taking on players with disciplinary issues isn’t great either with the likes of Brett Ferres and Justin Carney not reaching the heights they had done previously after moving on to new horizons.

There are exceptions to the rule, however. The resurgence of a once coveted talent in the NRL, Albert Kelly, at Hull FC has been a joy to watch, particularly for fans in the west side of Hull.

By that notion, Lee Radford has a good record of straightening out potential problem players but has seemingly given up on Liam Watts. For Watts’ sake, let’s hope that’s not a bad sign.

With all these points made, it’s left fans weighing up whether this move is a good one for Castleford.

However, one can never tell whether a move is worth it until they leave the club. Take Hardaker for example: Ask every Tigers fan after their semi-final victory over St Helens in 2017 whether they thought Hardaker had been a worthwhile signing and it would have been unanimously in favour. Ask them now and it would be completely the opposite.

Watts has at least three years at Castleford and when he leaves the club, that will be when he can be judged as being a good signing for the club or not.

As the phrase goes: ‘The proof of the pudding will be in the eating.’