New approach paying off for in-form Joe

Wakefield Trinity forward Joe Westerman’s fresh approach has helped earn him a second chance with England.

Shaun Wane took in a recent Trinity training session as part of his planning for this month’s international against the Combined Nations All Stars.

And, as well as winger Tom Johnstone, who is returning from concussion issues, his latest squad includes both Westerman and centre Reece Lyne.

Wane is expected to name his side this week for the match at Warrington on Friday, June 25, and many, including Wakefield chief Chris Chester, feel Westerman should be included.

The 31-year-old backrower made his 350th career appearance when Trinity beat Leigh earlier this month.

One of those was for England against Samoa at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium in the 2014 Four Nations tournament.

Westerman, then with Hull, played loose-forward and helped Steve McNamara’s side to a 32-26 win, but it proved to be his sole appearance on that trip.

Now the ex-Castleford, Warrington and Toronto player, who also represented England Knights once in 2011, is waiting to see whether he gets another call-up.

He puts his bright form partly down to a different lifestyle, explaining: “I’ve made a few changes away from rugby and a lot of changes to my game too.

“I’m thinking more about things like massages, recovery sessions and just taking care of my body better.

“I’m not drinking as much or going out as much. I’m spending more time with my family. I guess I’m just growing up really and I’m massively feeling the benefits.”

Talking to the Yorkshire Post, Westerman added: “I wish I knew ten years ago what I know now. But it’s also what I’m doing in the gym as well.

“I always thought my skill would get me through my career. It’s taken me all this time, though, to realise I needed to do more in the gym – to get strong and feel strong – to allow me to do more on the field.

“I’m going to work happy now. I want to go to training and I’m enjoying it when I’m there.”

Johnstone and Lyne both played for England in the 44-6 win over France at Leigh in October 2018, the former scoring a hat-trick.

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