He was the young English bloke living is the shadow of Rugby League giants down in Melbourne. Now that Gareth Widdop has a team of his own to run at the St George/Illawarra Dragons, he is showing he might very well be a giant of the game himself.
Widdop’s form has been sensational for the Dragons. He has taken his game to a new level and has guided the Dragons to an unbeaten start so far this season.
It all make me think back to the 2013 World Cup when Widdop was apparently not the first choice standoff for England for most of the tournament. Why was he brought in only for the final game…too little, too late?
At the Dragons so far this season Widdop has proven to be one of the form players in the National Rugby League. His running game, passing game…even his kicking game has torn opposition teams to shreds.
While he was signed on a reasonably large contract that raised the eyebrows of some last year, there is already talk he may be the buy of the season.
Why hasn’t the English Rugby League coaching staff recognized this sort of talent? Why hasn’t the English test team been built around Gareth Widdop?
The St George/Illawarra Dragons were supposed to be one of the team to struggle in 2014. Their coach was in line to be one of the first fired. No one gave them any hope. After two rounds the Dragons sit atop the NRL ladder, and while it is still early days, there is no denying the immediate impact Gareth Widdop has had on the side.
If the RFL needed one last reason to sack their under-performing, failed coach who let his squad fall apart during the World Cup last year, this is it. As Steve McNamara picks up training gear after Sydney Roosters training sessions, Gareth Widdop stars for one of the games great clubs.
Lets hope the next English coach doesn’t make the same mistake’s McNamara did during what should be his former time as England’s coach.