Exclusive: Huddersfield Giants halfback reveals what it’s like to play under Ian Watson

Oliver Russell has become one of Huddersfield Giants’ unsung heroes in recent seasons.

The halfback has played 30 games, scoring three tries and kicking 50 goals, but stood up when needed as Huddersfield struggled during the 2021 Super League season.

The Giants spent the majority of the season in the bottom three, but ended up putting a decent run together towards the back end of the year to finish ninth with nine wins from 24 games.

And, for Russell, that upturn in form was down to a shift in attitude from all the players.

“I put it down to everyone starting to trust the process Watto (Ian Watson) has put in place and everyone enjoying their rugby and working hard for each other,” Russell told Serious About Rugby League.

“There was a mix of young and experienced players which helped us younger lads giving us all confidence to play at Super League level consistently week in week out.”

23-year-old Russell is keen to learn from new signings Tui Lolohea and Theo Fages, but wants to nail down his own permanent spot in the side.

“My goals for 2022 season are to try to cement a spot in Watto’s 17 every week and keep learning from the likes of Theo and Tui who Watto has brought in.

“I want to keep building from what I performed like in the second half of last season which has given me some confidence for the 2022 season.

“It’s been very good for me personally that Watto became coach as I’ve learnt a different side of the game and he’s given me some well needed confidence thats made me start to enjoy my rugby again.

“So, I just need to repay with consistent performances when I get the chance.”

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