Castleford Tigers star Grant Millington has enjoyed the challenges thrown up in 2016 and believes he is a better player because of them.
The ever consistent Australian has found himself at stand-off, in the back row and at loose forward as well as his preferred prop position during a campaign in which the Tigers have had to endure a lengthy injury list.
He has also become the pack leader in the absence of broken leg victim Andy Lynch and has revelled in the extra responsibility.
He said: “I’ve been all over the shop really. A bit of six, in the front row and the back, but I’ve enjoyed my footy this year.
“Losing Andy Lynch for quite a long period of time has made it a bit different for me. He’s our workhorse, he gets in there, makes the metres and I would usually get on the back of that and play a little bit with the ball. But I’ve had to do a bit of both this year – my metres are more than I’ve made usually because I pass the ball quite a bit.
“It’s changed my game a little bit, but I think I’m better off in the long run.
“I enjoy the games when you get thrown in there at the last minute and you don’t have to think about it too much and you can just play naturally.
“It’s always enjoyable playing in a different position and having a bit of fun. There was not really any pressure on me when I was in there at six. I was just in there to defend well and see what we could come up with, with the ball, so I did enjoy it.”
Millington believes the Tigers have done well to be as high up the table as they are with all the injury disruption.
He added: “We’ve been a bit up and down, but overall I think we’ve got to be pretty happy with what’s happened to us when you take into account all the injuries.
“We’ve had so many of our first 17 missing for long periods of the year so to finish up fifth or sixth is going to be great for us.
“It’s going to be a good platform for us to build on to next year.
“This year we had aspirations of really making a top four side and I think that us coming around that area with what’s happened to us is a good performance. I don’t think many other sides would have handled it as well as we have.
“We’ve had those periods where we weren’t great and we played really poorly against sides we should have beaten. Home form hasn’t been as fantastic as we’d have liked it to be with the support we get down here so there’s still a lot we can work on.
“If we can get things like right for the rest of the season then it will build for us for next year.”