Huddersfield Giants chief Paul Anderson believes Joe Wardle has the potential to be a future international star.
The 22-year-old centre was this week named the Super League club’s Coaches’ Player of the Year, Players’ Player of the Year and Supporters’ Player of the Year.
Scooping all of Huddersfield’s top individual awards will have given Wardle a massive boost ahead of Friday’s home clash against leaders St Helens, when a Giants win will guarantee them a top-four Super League finish.
And his confidence will have been further boosted by Anderson’s reasons for choosing the former Bradford Bulls Academy ace as the coaches’ choice.
“If Joe doesn’t gain international recognition at the end of this year, I think it’s only a matter of time before he does,” said Anderson.
“He’s a player who’s improving all the time and the level of consistency he’s shown throughout the season has really stood out. Consistency is massive at this level, and Joe’s been a model of that.”
Wardle will again be expected to produce a strong game against former Giants coach Nathan Brown’s Saints on Friday, when the Giants could welcome back England centre Leroy Cudjoe and Ireland full-back Scott Grix.
Both men sat out Sunday’s hard-fought 38-28 home triumph over Hull FC to rest niggly injuries, but should be back in the frame to face St Helens.