Ian Watson is quickly becoming one of the most highly-praised head coaches in Super League.
After taking Salford Red Devils to the Grand Final back in 2019 and the Challenge Cup Final in 2020, Watson made the move to the Huddersfield Giants ahead of the 2021 season.
Though last year was a bit disappointing, Watson has steered the West Yorkshire side to a Challenge Cup Final and a place in the top four as things stand.
It is perhaps no wonder then that his name was mentioned in a Wide World of Sports article potentially linking him with a job in the NRL with Wests Tigers, Canterbury Bulldogs and the New Zealand Warriors all needing new men in charge.
However, although Watson does harbour ambitions to coach in the NRL, he doesn’t want to do it just yet.
“My brother who lives in Australia, he sent me a picture on my phone (of the article),” Watson said.
“At the moment, I do want to go over there eventually and do what Mal Reilly did a long time ago, but I’ve got a big project at Huddersfield and I came here to create a legacy.
“I want a team to compete for trophies and be up there when I eventually do leave with a good youth system coming through.
“Huddersfield have shown real faith in me to deliver that and it’s going in the right direction, there’s still a lot of work to do at Huddersfield at this moment in time.”
Watson said that it was ‘nice’ that his name has been bandied about Down Under, but highlighted how good it is to see British coaches being linked with top jobs in the NRL.
“You learn through experience but until someone comes and speaks to you it’s paper talk.
“But the biggest thing I took out of it is that it’s good that they are starting to talk about English coaches as it’s always the other way round and Australian coaches come here.
“In Australia they seem to regurgitate coaches all the time and they get the same kind of results on the back of it.
“I see Kristian Woolf (St Helens coach) has been linked with the Warriors job and even with the Tigers. More coaches that get nominated from Super League is a good thing.
“There are a lot of talented British coaches and just because they are in the UK it doesn’t mean they are worse, some are probably even better.
“You look at the NRL and it’s a billion pound industry – you look at the salary cap and it’s a different game over there with the pool of talent available to them.
“It is something I have looked at but Huddersfield is my main focus.”