Hooker Gareth Owen is taking the hard knocks to make his loan spell at Sheffield Eagles a success.
A slim 5ft 9ins, he’s often targeted in the Championship but has turned the tables with five tries in 11 games.
Owen, on a year’s loan from Salford Red Devils, said: “The Championship is probably a lot more physical than the Super League. There are some massive lads in this league and it’s good to be getting the contact.
“It’s good for my defence to be tackling men rather than lads in the reserves.”
Coach Mark Aston has used Owen mainly as a substitute in a two-from-three battle with Andrew Henderson and James Davey for the hooker’s role.
“Garth has been great,” he said. “He comes into the game and rips in and scores tries and is one of the most consistent performers; that’s why he’s been playing.”
Owen, back in the team for the last three games, is hoping he did enough in the 16-12 win at Batley to keep his place against Championship leaders Leigh Centurions at Owlerton Stadium on Sunday.
“It can’t be bad coming on the back of a win and hopefully we’ll double up against Leigh,” he said. “Everyone wants that game, it’s the big one and we’ll be out to win.”