Trent Merrin – View from the Pitch: We’ll miss Kallum Watkins but he’ll ‘kill it’ with Gold Coast Titans in NRL

I EXPECT Kallum Watkins to excel in the NRL when he gets over to Gold Coast Titans next month.

Friday, 21st June 2019, 6:00 am
Kallum Watkins. PIC: Alex Whitehead/

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No disrespect to Leeds or Super League and we will definitely miss him, but I think it is probably the best thing for him, to get away and go to a new competition and one that it is professional and very intense.

In my opinion it will be good for him and it will help him get his confidence back in his knee after his injury last year. Being over there can build him back up to being the world-class player we all know he is.

Trent Merrin. PIC: James Hardisty

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He will have great players around him and he will go really well. I also think the move will be a breath of fresh air for him.

He has been a fantastic servant to Leeds but, when you’ve been at one club a long time, you can get a bit stale in your career and maybe you need new surroundings to freshen up. I have done that a few times and been better for it and I reckon he will love it.

The English boys that are over in the NRL now are tearing it up – I think that’s because they get to see a bit of sunshine, it boosts their endorphins a bit!

New South Wales coach Brad Fittler. PIC: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

They are taking their chance with both hands. They’ve got nothing to lose, you can go there and rip in and make a name for yourself and I think Kal will kill it over there.

As I have found out when you go to play in another country, it is an experience off the field as well as on it.

Your character is tested because you are stepping out of your comfort zone. Going to the other side of the world, you have to try to find comfort in the uncomfortable. You can’t not grow when you test yourself like that, especially the way we have been going this year.

It has been tough, but the last few weeks have been better and we are going in the right direction now. It is a great test of character to face these challenges and try and turn them around and put them in your favour. I think we are getting there.

We should have got the win against Wigan last weekend, but a few finer details didn’t go our way. That’s how far we are off.

It will be a great test at Saints tonight, but we have got belief in our squad and what we’ve been producing the last few weeks and where we are heading and if we tidy up a couple of little things we will be fine.

It is a good challenge, Saints are setting the standard at the moment. They have been consistent throughout the year, but we have nothing to lose.

We’ve just got to put our best foot forward and make sure we take it up a notch every week. From where we were three weeks ago to now, we have kept raising the bar and that’s what we’ve got to do tonight.

I’m looking forward to State of Origin at the weekend. It’s going to be interesting after what happened in game one. Queensland got away in that one and New South Wales have made some changes.

Seven changes is a big ask, but they won it last year and [Brad] Freddie Fittler is confident in his ability. I, personally, probably would not have changed too much, but he clearly sees that those positions need to be changed.

I’d love to see something similar done over here; that would be great. I don’t know the rivalries too well or what clashes you’d be able to base it on, but I’ve heard they’ve had Yorkshire-Lancashire and England versus overseas in the past.

Back home, Origin is a beast of its own, the marketing and the business side behind it. It has got so much potential and it would be great to get a game like that over here.

It would be great to see a game between England and the rest of the world, or something like that. It gives players something to work towards, instead of waiting all year for the England games at the end of the season.

I think there’d be a lot of passion in a fixture like that and the players and fans would love it.