Liam Watts on his Castleford Tigers future, how he’s changed his game and verdict on changes at the Super League club

CASTLEFORD TIGERS forward Liam Watts has admitted he has had to ‘strip his game back’ in order to be more consistent and stay on the field.

Liam Watts on his Castleford Tigers future, how he’s changed his game and verdict on changes at the Super League club

Watts’ disciplinary record has been well documented in the past with the four-match ban given to him back in February of this year his 11th ban in just two years.

Since returning to the field, the veteran forward has enjoyed an exemplary record with no cards or suspensions.

And for Watts it’s all about maintaining that consistency.

“I’ve always been high on consistency and you can’t play consistently well if you’re in for a game and then out for two,” Watts said.

“Since I got that ban, I’ve stripped my game back and started a foundation from the bottom in order to try and put a game together where I’m not missing games because it does hurt us.

“It’s tough, it’s getting quicker and I’m getting older. I’m just enjoying the challenge.”

So what’s the biggest change he has had to make?

“It’s just tackle technique. I got done for a crusher and little bits like that last year which isn’t getting penalised now.

“The game is evolving and swapping all the time. It’s hard to base the game round it and I’ve got to suck it up and get on with it.”

In terms of the club’s development in the past year, Watts believes there is a clear change.

“The position of where we are in now to last year, it’s a lot more positive. We are in a good position the last couple of weeks form wise on the field,” Watts said.

“Off the field, I think Martin (Jepson) has come in and shown a little bit of what he wants from the club and the direction he wants to go in.

“We are seeing that and noticing that and it’s obviously a huge boost. Being a Cas lad and a Cas fan, once I’m done playing I will still be supporting the club wherever I can.

“It would be nice to see the transition the last couple of years with coaches coming in and going to then see a stable team. I think we are starting to get that.

“The club is looking at players over the next couple of years and Danny Wilson (director of rugby) comes to us for a bit of advice on players sometimes.

“We are needing to sign up and coming players for the next four or five years. Get them at 22 and then when they are 26 or 27, they will be in their prime years.

“It shows how small the pool of the market is that clubs are tying down these players straight away if they show a bit of form.

“We are having to look at our foundations and local talent now. It’s more important than ever to get into those amateur clubs and start bringing those players in.”

Watts himself signed a one-year deal with the option of a further year, but he hasn’t given an indication that retirement will happen as of yet.

“It’s about consistency for me. Whilst ever I am playing consistently then I will try and give my all.

“Until I can’t give anything to the team then I will put my hand up and say ‘I can’t bring anything more’ and that it’s time to go.

“At the moment, I’m not missing any training sessions, I’m playing decent minutes and games.”

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