Leeds Rhinos: Plenty of room for improvement – Watkins

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LEEDS RHINOS’ player-of-the- year Kallum Watkins is reflecting on a “dream” season, but says he can and must improve.

The 24-year-old had an outstanding campaign, featuring in Rhinos’ treble success and England’s Test series win over New Zealand.

Kallum Watkins

Kallum Watkins

But Watkins admitted he did not hit his top form in the internationals and insisted: “I have still got a lot of things to work on and a lot of things to do.”

The centre stressed: “I want to perform at a top-class level, especially on the international side of things.

“That’s something I don’t think I’ve done yet. That’s a big goal for me, to continue to play well at club level, keep improving as a player and do everything I can to make myself a better player and get better at international level.”

All England’s seven tries against New Zealand were scored by forwards, with the outside-backs seeing little of the ball.

“For me, individually, it probably hasn’t been my best time in terms of getting the ball in my hands,” Watkins conceded.

“But it is all about the team. If I am not doing the best I can, I always try my best. I will reflect on that and try and come up with better things next year.

“It is going to be a big year for Leeds and in the internationals as well, so I will be trying to perform all year.”

Watkins played 36 competitive games in 2015, scoring 21 tries.

“It has been a dream this year,” he said. “I have enjoyed a great year, for both club and country and it has been an honour to be part of it.

“I am just going to enjoy it now, have a little break and reflect on things, but it has gone very well and I’m very happy with how things are.

“But I am a team kind of guy – it doesn’t matter how I play, as long as I give it my all. Some things didn’t go well for me on Saturday (in the third and final Test), but I kept going.

“I didn’t give in and I did what I needed to do. The big thing is we went on and won it, which is really special.”

Watkins will report in for pre-season training with Leeds in the new year. He said: “With the internationals, you are away from your family quite a bit – it is more intense, because you have got to gel with other players, so you need to spend time together.

“That’s a sacrifice everybody has made, in terms of not seeing their family for three weeks, but winning the series rewards that kind of sacrifice.

“It’s credit to all the lads and all the staff as well, who did a great job of looking after us. They gave us a huge hand in how we performed.”

l Warrington Wolves have signed Hull-born prop Jordan Cox on a one-year contract.

Cox, 23, made his debut for Hull KR in 2011 and went on to score six tries in 64 appearances. He also had a spell on loan at Huddersfield Giants.

Warrington coach Tony Smith said: “We are delighted to have signed Jordan. He is a big human being and fits the brief of what we are after here.”