Watson backs Griffin for England

Salford Red Devils head coach Ian Watson has backed centre Josh Griffin to make the England squad for this year’s Four Nations tournament.

The 25-year-old has been in exceptional form this season, scoring eight tries in ten appearances and is currently second in the metres made charts behind team-mate Justin Carney.

To make the England squad, Griffin would have to overcome intense competition, including Leeds centre Kallum Watkins, Huddersfield’s Leroy Cudjoe and Brisbane star Jack Reed.

However, Salford chief Watson believes Griffin is capable of making the breakthrough.

“If he carries on the way he has been going you’ll be talking about him making the England squad,” said Watson.

“He gives you so much; a big thing for us is making metres in the backfield and Josh eats them up. Players who play for England need to do that to get you on the front foot.

“He can play in a multitude of positions. He can play centre or wing and he even played fullback when Gareth O’Brien got sin-binned.

“If he can carry on in this form and keeps making those metres, he’ll be in the reckoning for one of those spots.

“He’s developed really well over the last 12 months. He was playing for Batley in the Championship and came from rugby union. He’s kicked on another gear, and now he needs to have that belief that he can be an England player. He’s started the season really well and hopefully by the end of the year he’ll be around the England fold.”

Meanwhile, Watson also praised the work of Marwan Koukash and the club following their professionalism after the crowd trouble at the John Smith’s Stadium just over a week ago.

“Marwan has been really good in letting us focus on what we’re doing on the field. We’re grateful for that.”