Jake Wardle on: Huddersfield’s new era, competition for places & the World Cup

Jake Wardle says he hasn’t thought too much about the World Cup yet and is just focusing on cementing a starting spot at Huddersfield.

The 22-year-old centre enjoyed a stellar season for the Giants in 2020, scoring five tries in 17 appearances.

Wardle, who qualifies to play for England and Scotland, says his sole focus right now is nailing down a spot in the Huddersfield team rather than the World Cup which takes place this autumn.

He said: “I haven’t really looked that far ahead. I’m just trying to cement my spot in this Huddersfield team.

“We’ve got competition for places so for me, it is just about cementing my spot in this team and playing as good as I can week in, week out.

“If it comes to the end of the year and I do get selected, then I get selected but if not, as long as I know I’ve tried my best then I can’t ask for much more.

“I want to concentrate on now and there’s too much going in terms of having Ricky (Leutele) and Leroy (Cudjoe) here, especially for me to start worrying about something later on in the year.”

READ: Big future ahead for Huddersfield youngster Olly Russell

Jake Wardle made his first team debut in 2018

Huddersfield have brought in several new faces ahead of the new Super League season – Jack Ashworth, George Roby, James Cunningham, Joe Greenwood, Ricky Leutele, Josh Jones, Luke Yates and Olly Ashall-Bott.

And Wardle, who came through the club’s academy, is excited about the potential of the new-look Giants and believes competition for places can only be a good thing.

He added: “We know we are all making each other better. There are two centre spots available and there are a few lads trying to get there so it helps everyone because you’ve got to be at your best in training otherwise you won’t get picked so its all good competition.

“There’s competition for places so I need to train as well as I can day in, day out and play as well as I can when selected. For me, it is just about cementing my spot and playing as good as I can.

“Hopefully we can aim for a top five spot. But again, it is about week in, week out performances. We’ve got the squad now and as long as we can stay injury free, we’ve got the squad to be pushing for those top places. It is just about keeping consistent.”

READ: Huddersfield announce 2021 squad numbers

Ian Watson has taken over the coaching reins at Huddersfield on a three-year deal – and Wardle is full of praise for his new boss.

Wardle said: “Every player has a good relationship with him. He is very big on his attention to detail and I’m sure it can only help my game going forward.

“I’ve never seen anything like his attention to detail to be honest. For me as a centre, there was a lot of stuff where I might have thought I was going well but it could be massively improved and he’s picked up on that and he’s done the same with everyone else in the squad. If we can keep the levels we are training and playing at then hopefully we will go well this year.”

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