Huddersfield coach Ian Watson is an unsung hero who is worthy of a big head coaching job in the NRL.
That’s the view of Giants prop Chris Hill who played with Watson at Leigh and is now finding some of his best form under his stewardship after leaving Warrington for Huddersfield.
Ian Watson led Salford to the 2019 Grand Final and the Challenge Cup Final the following season. He is now overseeing an upturn at Huddersfield that has seen the club up to third in Super League.
Hill told Love Rugby League: “He’s definitely one of the best coaches around and just says it like it is and the lads like him for that.
“He did Great Britain with Shaun Wane and chewed his ear off a bit and Wane is one of the best there has ever been. I was very surprised Warrington didn’t go for Watson.
“He’s a coach that might always go under the radar but I hope he doesn’t. Whether it is here or over in the NRL I would love to see him have a gig over there.
“He’s one of them blokes who lives and breathes rugby and I don’t think there’s many of them knocking around.
“He gets you playing for him. He didn’t have the team he fully wanted last year and I don’t think they fully bought into the way he wanted to play. This year he’s very direct about how he wants to play and the lads have bought into it.
“Playing with him he always had small man syndrome and he’s taken that into coaching too so he can get angry at times!
“He knows rugby league inside out and other teams inside out which makes it easier to plan.”
Success no surprise
Speaking on the Love Rugby League podcast, Hill also reveals how Huddersfield’s success this season has been no surprise.
“I knew they had a core of good players anyway and then they signed Theo Fages and Danny Levi. When he mentioned Theo I thought that was an absolute genius stroke from Watto to get him over.
“I knew from pre-season we would have a little bit about us and maybe we are one of those teams that people don’t think of but that will come back to sting a few people.”
Hill will make his 500th career appearance this week when the Giants play struggling Leeds.
The Love Rugby League podcast with Chris Hill goes live this Wednesday, April 13