Tiger Wood is centre of attention after England call

SAM WOOD appears to have found a home – playing at Castleford, and doing so at centre – as he eyes an England debut following his call-up to the squad for Saturday’s meeting with France in Toulouse.

The 26-year-old was unable to consistently nailed down a regular spot at either Huddersfield or Hull KR, with coaches unsure where best to fit the 6ft 4in player.
He signed a three-year deal with Castleford ahead of this season and has started all 15 Super League games so far, and all at left centre.
“You change and you play where you need to when you’re a bit younger to get games under your belt, but it is nice to stay in one position,” Wood told League Express.
“I’d like to think (it’s my best position). If I can bring my best every week, hopefully that contributes to a great team performance.
“I’ve been lucky to have a consistent partnership with Innes (Senior), (Alex) Mellor and Milky (Jacob Miller) on that edge this year which helps with your performances and consistency.
“I feel like we’ve got a good connection going and I’m enjoying playing here.
“I’ve had a lot of trust in me from the coaching staff. They’re big influences on me. They’ve a lot of faith and they’re bringing out the best in me.”
Wood scored his third Tigers try in last Thursday’s one-point defeat to his previous club, Hull KR.
While the Tigers remain stuck on only three league wins this term, successive home losses by a combined three points suggests they are making improvements.
“We competed hard against Wigan and the challenge was to back up this week against another top-four side in Hull KR,” added Wood.
“I thought we did that. (We just lacked) a little bit of game smarts – the game maybe just got away from us a little bit – but our effort and intent was outstanding.”
How have things changed? “A bit of honesty – everyone is accountable and honesty within the group is how we get better.
“Getting into training and working really hard – that’s the only way you can put yourselves in these positions – and belief in what we’re doing as a group.
“There’s only us that can change it out there. The coaching staff have given us all the tools to go out on a weekend and perform, so it’s about us working hard in training day-to-day and week-to-week trying to get better and be the best version of ourselves.”

Updated version of article first published in League Express newspaper, Issue 3,436 (June 24, 2024)

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