WIGAN WARRIORS forward Liam Farrell says he was shocked by Kallum Watkins’ decision to leave Leeds Rhinos.
Watkins will face Wigan tonight for probably the last time as a Rhinos player, before he is released from his contract at the end of this season.
He is likely to line up in the second-row, opposite Farrell and the Wigan man admitted he was shocked by the recent news.
“I don’t get surprised by a lot of things in this game anymore, but that one did,” he remarked. “You think of Leeds and you think of Kallum Watkins.
“I hope he stays in rugby league and more so, stays in Super League.”
Watkins and Farrell crossed paths as juniors and played for England academy together. Farrell added: “He always was a special talent. You always knew he would be that bit above everyone else and when he gets one on one you know his opposition centre is in trouble.
“I’m a massive fan of his, whatever the situation there right now. Kallum will probably admit he has not been at his best, but take this year out of it, he has been in the top three or four centres in the world over the last few years.
“If he can find that form again, whoever he joins will have a player on his hands. He played back-row last weekend and what a job he did.
“He wants to help the club and he is doing a great job there right now.”
Wigan coach Adrian Lam has described tonight as his team’s biggest game of the season so far and Farrell warned: “Leeds haven’t had a great year, but their fight is there, their mentality is there.
“I’ve gone there and had some of my best wins – I’ve also had some bad results and going to Headingley is never easy.
“This will be a tough one. We’re in a tough spot and it’s about getting consistent performances week in week out.”