Joe Westerman reveals reason for strong form with Wakefield Trinity
JOE WESTERMAN has been hailed as one of Wakefield Trinity’s best players this season and the forward’s resurgence in form has been down to some positive changes off the pitch.
The 31-year-old from Pontefract played his 350th professional game on Sunday and scored his 100th career try as Trinity won their third-straight game with victory over Leigh Centurions.
He has been tipped for England by his head coach Chris Chester, who talked up the forward’s form to England coach Shaun Wane, who attended a training session at Belle Vue on Tuesday.
Westerman admits he has done some growing up and wishes he had implemented the lifestyle changes sooner.
“I’m enjoying it as much as I’ve ever done,” he first told the Yorkshire Post.
“I’ve made a few changes away from rugby and a lot of changes to my game, too. Some of the things I’m doing now I thought were just crap earlier in my career.
“Things like massages, recovery sessions and just taking care of my body better.
“I’m not drinking as much or going out as much. I’m spending more time with my family. I guess I’m just growing up really and I’m massively feeling the benefits.
“I wish I knew 10 years ago what I know now. But it’s also what I’m doing in the gym as well. I always thought my skill would get me through my career.
“It’s taken me all this time, though, to realise I needed to do more in the gym – to get strong and feel strong – to allow me to do more on the field.
“I’m going to work happy now; I want to go to training and I’m enjoying it when I’m there. Even when we were losing it wasn’t doom and gloom; the lads, Chezzy, coaches, CEO and everyone have been great.”
Winger Tom Johnstone is the only Trinity player in Wane’s training squad at the moment. Reece Lyne dropped out last year while Westerman has come into contention with his form so far this term.
“Hopefully at the end of the year we can have a Tom Johnstone, a Joe Westerman or Reece Lyne playing for their country,” said Chester.
“That would be a massive achievement for those individuals and great for the club as well.”
Chester feels that if Westerman continues to produce the same level of performances throughout the year, then it will be hard to leave him out of the World Cup squad.
He added: “I have made it quite clear how important I feel Joe is to this rugby league team.
“The form he has had over the first nine weeks is the best I have seen him.
“Shaun has a team to pick and if he is picking guys on form then it is going to be very difficult to shy away from Joe Westerman at this moment in time.”