Kallum Watkins: England centre "could be the greatest ever"

'Magic' Watkins contender for award

England's Kallum Watkins is potentially "the best British centre" in rugby league history, says Leeds Rhinos team-mate Jamie Peacock.

Watkins, 24, has scored 11 tries in 19 league games and helped Rhinos to the top of Super League with three games to go before the Super Eight split.

Peacock has tipped the Manchester-born three-quarter for player of the year.

"He could be the best British centre we've had if he continues the way he's going," he told the Super League Show.

"For me he's the Man of Steel this year, he's playing as well as Jamie Lyon was that season he won the Man of Steel."

Australia centre Lyon scored 22 tries for St Helens in 2005, who ended the season as league leaders, and went on to win the award as well as figure in the Dream Team.

"Great" British centres?
Neil Fox: Fox, from a family of fine rugby league players, remains the top points scorer for Great Britain and was part of a famous Wakefield side in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. He is one of only five centres to have won the Lance Todd Trophy in the Challenge Cup final.
Garry Schofield: Although he ended his career as a silky playmaker in the halves, it was in the centres where the Hull talent made his breakthrough for Great Britain with four tries against New Zealand in 1985.
Joe Lydon: Like fellow contenders for this list in Ellery Hanley and Shaun Edwards, Lydon was another player who has spells in the centres but moved around the field during his career. Scored twice for Widnes to win both the 1984 Challenge Cup and pick up the Lance Todd Trophy.
Gary Connolly: Excellent defensive player who played in pre and post-Super League eras, Australia's elite ARL competition and even rugby union. He won 31 caps for Great Britain and added to that England and Ireland appearances.
Keith Senior: Immensely powerful centre with a hard edge who troubled the Australians with England and Great Britain. Won a Challenge Cup with Sheffield before moving to Leeds where countless honours followed.

The following season he helped Saints to a Grand Final and Challenge Cup double - an achievement still open to Leeds this term.

Coincidentally it is the Red Vee who will stand between the Rhinos and a return to Wembley in their defence of the Challenge Cup in the semi-final on Friday, 31 July.

Leeds beat St Helens last Friday to move three points clear of the Langtree Park side and complete a league double.

"The dressing room was as up as I've seen it this year," Peacock said.

"We know how good St Helens are, we've got a lot of respect for them."