Following his big move from Hull FC to Castleford this week, Liam Watts has hit back at suggestions that off field issues are behind his switch from East to West Yorkshire.
When pressed on the reasons for the shock transfer, Airlie Birds’ coach Lee Radford admitted that “it was a discipline issue ultimately and it wasn’t for football purposes.” This suggests that, despite his four red cards since the start of the 2017 campaign, his former coach was happy enough with his output on the field. Indeed, many felt he was harshly left out of Wayne Bennett’s England squad for the recent RLWC. However, Watts himself has questioned Radford’s belief, explaining that he believes himself to have no such issues.”
“I’m perfect with how I am off the field,” the 27 year old said at his new club’s press conference in the build up to Sunday’s heavyweight clash with Wigan. As it goes, Watts will have to wait for his Tigers debut as he is only partway through a three match ban for a headbutt on Warrington’s Dom Crosby in what ultimately was his last game for FC. “It’s just comments that have been made and nobody knows otherwise,” he told those present, further adding “go and ask him (Radford) what he thinks my off-field issues are, but between me and you guys, there’s no off-field issues.”
A fee in the region of six figures is believed to have secured the West Yorkshire born forward a move to his hometown club who beat the ambitious Toronto team to his signature. Furthermore, Watts has also already spoken to England team manager Jamie Peacock and has an eye on an England jersey for the end of season series against New Zealand. Speaking of those discussions, Watts said that Peacock advised him that people – including referees – are wanting to see a more fluent game and are penalising things that they haven’t before. He further added that Peacock told him that “the game’s changing and you’ve either got to change with it or keep picking up bans like I’ve been doing.”