Huddersfield Giants conflict addressed as Sam Tomkins delivers Ian Watson verdict

Sam Tomkins has admitted he is unsurprised by Huddersfield Giants' decision to stand down Ian Watson, claiming he has not "changed a great deal" during his time at the club. The Giants confirmed that Watson had been relieved of his duties on Thursday afternoon following a run of eight defeats in nine matches.

It came after their woeful performance against Warrington Wolves, a game they lost 48-0, which left them eight points adrift of the play-offs. In three full seasons in charge, Watson guided the Giants to a third-place finish and Challenge Cup Final, but an impressive 2022 campaign was in between two disappointing seasons that saw them finish ninth.

With the Giants set to miss out on the play-offs again this year, Tomkins believes Huddersfield's latest move is not one that should have caught people off-guard.

"I don't think it's surprising," he told Sky Sports. We're in a results-based industry, he's in his fourth year in charge at Huddersfield and you'd have to say he's not changed a great deal in that time which is what he was signed to do.

The performance last week at the Halliwell Jones can't have helped, they gave up in some senses in that game. It's the tough reality of sport, if a team isn't producing, they have to make a change. They're eight points off the play-offs with half a season left, so they need a big change."

Tomkins went on to suggest there has been conflict between Watson and some of the Huddersfield players.

"You very often see a change and lift in performance. They have to impress whoever is the next coach, it's Luke Robinson for now but they'll be looking to bring someone in. There's clearly some conflict in the group, between the players and coach. Players like Jake Connor have been pushed on the outer, he'll get a chance now.

"It's important as a group that you drive it yourselves, I've been in a situation where a coach gets sacked and it's important you get player-led. Experienced players like Chris Hill will take charge this week and I'd expect a big performance from them this week."