The Jake Trueman Show

Posted: Tuesday 10th September 2019 - 12:23 PM

The 20-year-old was in imperious form in Thursday’s must-win clash with the Black and Whites, running in three tries and chalking up two assists in the same week he received his call up to the Great Britain training squad for this autumn’s Lions tour.

Just four days later, Trueman then received another nomination for the Betfred Young Player of the Year Award – giving him the chance to defend his crown from 2018 after another stellar season for the Tigers.

“It’s always nice to be recognised that you’re playing well but the main aim for me is to win trophies as a team.

“I’m really happy though to be nominated again for Young Player of the Year, there’s some good players in there but hopefully I can win it again, and I’m really proud to get in the Great Britain squad alongside some really good half backs and some quality players.

“You learn from the people you’re around so I’d be an idiot not to learn from players like Jonny Lomax and George Williams who have been at the top of their game for a number of years. You want to take little bits from their games that I can improve on so I’ll definitely be looking to do that.

“I’m not sure if I’ll get picked yet but hopefully if I play well over these last few games then I’ll get the call.”

Trueman will go head to head with Williams at the DW Stadium this week when Castleford travel to take on Wigan Warriors in the final round of the Betfred Super League.

A win for Daryl Powell’s men would secure a play-off place next week and a trip to any of Salford, Warrington or Wigan in the first round, and Trueman believes stopping fellow Lions selection Williams could be key to victory for Cas.

“Keeping him quiet on Thursday is going to go a long way towards winning the game,” Trueman added.

“He’s been killing it for the last four of five years. He’s been the top half back and most consistent over that period of time.

“I can see some similarities in our games, particularly when he was my age now. Both of our strengths are running the ball but as a half back you’ve got to have extra strings to your bow. We’re both maybe not natural organisers but it’s something that’s been put into our game and seeing his development in that is good for me.”

As for Trueman’s form, the half back has once again defied his age to be a key man for the Tigers in 2019. In the absence of England international Luke Gale all season and specialist half back Jamie Ellis for much of the year, Trueman has been the glue to hold the Cas spine together this year and he credits to the return of Ellis from injury and the switch of Jordan Rankin to full back as being key to his recent performances.

“They’ve been massive for me but especially Jamie. My form has picked up massively since he’s come back into the team, he’s helped me hugely as an organising half back. That’s something I’m maybe not the best at so Jamie doing that organising takes the pressure of me and allows me to play my natural game.

“I’ve had to take that responsibility at times, particularly earlier in the year when we had the likes of Pete Mata’utia in the halves as he’s a running threat and that left me having to organise. It’s definitely helped improve that part of my game because the best way you improve is by doing it in games, being thrown in at the deep end and having to come up with good performances.

“We’ve managed to do that over the last few weeks when it’s felt like play-off rugby. We’ve talked about it being must-win games against Hull, because if we lost that we wouldn’t have made the play-offs, and it’s the same this week against Wigan.

“It will be a really tough game but our mindset doesn’t change, we’ve got to win. We have to expect Hull to beat Saints and so we have to get something away at Wigan. It’s simple really, if we win then we’re in (the play-offs).”

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