Leeds Rhinos: I’ll play anywhere for the team says Kallum Watkins
Watkins started in the second-row, for the first time in his Leeds career, against Huddersfield Giants eight days ago.
An injury to Konrad Hurrell meant a quick switch back into his specialist centre role and Watkins is likely to play there against Hull KR tomorrow, with teenager Harry Newman on the other flank.
Hurrell has made a powerful start to his Leeds career and Newman is rated as one of the best centre prospects in the country.
Rhinos have suffered a series of injuries to forwards, in particular the second-row and a change of position for Watkins could be one way of including all three in the team when Hurrell returns.
Wakins admitted he is unsure if the move last week was a one-off, but insisted: “We’ve got a lot of injuries at the minute and I will put my hand up to play anywhere.
“As a captain and a leader I have to do that and set an example and, brief as it was, I did enjoy it in the second-row.
“I was more involved in terms of defence, helping out the middles a bit more and if the opportunity comes again, when we’re down on troops and I have to play there, I will do it.”
But he added: “At the same time, I just want to win.
“It has been a difficult season for us, but we just need to get a good run of games where we are consistent and playing well.
“We have had those moments in patches which has given us the confidence to know it can happen.
“As a team we are working really hard to get results right and we just need to be consistent week-in, week-out.”
Tomorrow’s game could ease Rhinos’ relegation worries or leave them deeper in trouble.
Rovers – who are third from bottom, one place above Leeds – will open a two-point gap if they win, but Rhinos have a better for and against and could move up at least one place with a fourth successive home victory.
“It’s massive,” Watkins said of tomorrow’s clash.
“We’ve had a couple of good results and not backed it up.
“That has been the disappointing thing and it’s down to us as a team to get that right.
“It’s important this weekend to get a good performance against a tough side who beat us at their place a few weeks ago.”
Watkins admitted: “It was an up and down Easter period for us, a good result against Huddersfield and then we weren’t the best with the ball in our hands at Wakefield which cost us.
“We were disappointed with that, but we’re coming into a big game this week against Hull KR and it’s important we prepare the best we can and get ourselves ready.
“Both teams have got some injuries so there’s opportunities for players to come in and do a good job. It’s a good challenge and we’re looking forward to it.”
He stressed: “The big thing for us is earning the right to play. With your defence you get that right.
“I think it is getting better, but on top of that in the Wakefield game our attack was a bit down and not clinical enough at certain moments.
“We made too many errors and we’ve been working on that in terms of preparing.
“I think we can do well with the ball, but that comes from having a good defence.
“When we played them last time our defence was poor so our focus is on getting that right and then hopefully what we do with the ball will help us through it. It is all down to us to get that right.”
Rhinos under-19s face Wigan Warriors in a curtain-raiser tomorrow, kicking off at 12.30pm.