Ward: We must challenge at the top

Leeds forward Stevie Ward plans to cement himself as a starting player next and is desperate to help re-establish the Rhinos as a major force in terms of challenging for silverware.

Ward made his comeback from injury this year and has just been called into the England team afte Brett Ferres was ruled out.

“First and foremost I want to get back into the side after what happened last season,” he told Love Rugby League.

“I also want to get my game back, which is working hard in defence and showing a real work ethic but also challenging defences, breaking the line and scoring tries.

“As a team I want us to be finishing in the top three at least and challenging for silver ware because that’s what makes everyone happy at Leeds.”

Ward reflected on the past season which saw him make just four appearances after suffering a devastating knee injury last September.

“I learnt a lot this year,” the 22-year old said.

“With the amount of games I missed it could have been quite a negative year but I turned it around.”

343 days passed before the loose forward next stepped onto the field of play, but there was no pressure on him.

“When I made my comeback against Salford it was euphoric because the lads were very supportive and they didn’t expect anything from me,” Ward said.

“It was a really nice moment.”

Earlier this year Ward started an online magazine, Mantality, and he insists that even though there have been hurdles to overcome it is still really enjoyable.

“There are definitely some hard times with it,” he said.

“As long as people are enjoying it and people get more scope for what mental health is then I will keep doing it.

“I am always getting messages from people saying an article they have read has helped put what is in their head into perspective, whether that is depression, anxiety or negative thoughts.

“They can actually read something and know it is tangible and it is not only them.”

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