LUIS JOHNSON is relishing the battle to be a Super League regular as he bids to relaunch his career at Castleford.
The 24-year-old is now in his third spell with the Tigers, having been part of their Academy when he was signed by Warrington in 2018.
He spent three years each at the Wolves and Hull KR, playing 38 Super League games combined – plus three for Castleford after returning on loan last season.
Appearances proved hard to come by in backrower Johnson’s final year at Craven Park. He played just five times, after foot and pectoral injuries sidelined him for most of 2022.
“It’s a weird one. In 2021 I played every game and I was starting,” he told League Express.
“The following year I had two big injuries, then a new coach (Willie Peters) came in with new ideas.
“There were some really good second rowers at Hull KR like Kane Linnett and James Batchelor, and they were pretty much fit all season.”
Now he is back at Castleford on a one-year deal, after several months of “panicking” over his future and a spell on trial, but he faces competition for a place there too.
As well as established name Alex Mellor, fellow new (or relatively new) faces including Elie El-Zakhem, Nixon Putt and Charbel Tasipale, who will be aiming for the same positions.
“It’s similar to at Hull KR last year, there are four or five of us there,” admitted Johnson, who is now just ten minutes from his home in neighbouring Methley.
“I’m looking to push on and try and get as many games as possible. I need to train hard and take my chance, whenever it comes, whether it’s round one or round ten. I don’t think anyone really knows who’s playing yet.
“I’m just trying to become consistent every day in training. I’m trying to be the best version of myself every day.”