There must be more than meets the eye with Liam Watts exit

Liam Watts’ time as a Hull FC player has come to an end – in fact he, well allegedly, hasn’t been at the club since last week.

A three year deal at Castleford is the story, with Lee Radford reportedly frustrated with the players on and off field disciplinary problems, something which apparently extends beyond his four red cards over the past twelve months.

That has to be a given, as over half of those dismissals were compete bullshit. So something else must have happened. Something we can probably only ever speculate on. Whether or not the truth will come out is anyone’s guess, but it’s surely a given that something else has taken place, as to get rid of what I still stand is the best prop in Super League on the red cards alone would be nothing short of ludicrous.

That’s just my opinion. Watts’ talents on a rugby league field as a front rower are second to none in this competition, so for Hull to actively get rid of him on their own accord suggests to me that there’s been an ongoing problem with off-field matters. Either that, or the club need their heads checking for special substance use.

It’s a lot to take in and the initial reaction is one of disappointment. Of course it would be when one of your best player leaves mid-season. Will there be an immediate replacement lined up? Or will we go with what we’ve got? That’s a tough call.

Hull have got two promising young props in Brad Fash and Masimbaashe Matongo, but they are not of Watts’ quality yet. Few are. In my view, the only forward in the current side capable of producing the ball handling qualities of Watts is Jordan Abdull. He’s been outstanding so far this season and now a lot more responsibility will be placed on his shoulders as a middle unit.

We will need to get even more out of Scott Taylor, Chris Green and Josh Bowden too, now more than ever, and Mickey Paea when he comes back from injury, as finding a replacement now is tricky, with rosters already finalised and quota spots filled up.

It’s unexpected and it’s definitely a setback for all concerned and for the fans especially, but I guess we have to trust Lee Radford, Andy Last, Adam Pearson and co that they’ve made the right decision. They’ve delivered over the past two years and deserve that trust.

But saying that, it doesn’t soothe the frustration of Watts departure right now. It’s a massive shame the two parties couldn’t have sorted out whatever has gone on. He is a brilliant player and I’m gutted he’s left.

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About Dan Tomlinson
Founder, editor and the main man behind Up the Cream.

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