Catalans Dragons v Hull KR: I ended up digging holes after last relegation, admits Josh Drinkwater

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HAVING been relegated twice before and seen his “world turned upside down”, Hull KR’s Josh Drinkwater is in no mood to see history repeat itself again.

The Australian scrum-half suffered that fate with Leigh Centurions in the Million Pound Game two years ago and was also previously demoted with London Broncos in 2014.

Josh Drinkwater.

Josh Drinkwater.

But now his current club Rovers – with just three games to go starting in Perpignan today – are joint-bottom with London and also in a battle to avoid the drop. Drinkwater, 27, said: “I think it will go down to the last game.

“For us, it’s in our own hands. If we win our next three we’ll be safe.

“If we don’t then we’re going to rely on other results.

“From our point of view we’ve just got to get out and win those next three and know we’ll be safe.

“It’s not an ideal situation for a club and a player. I guess for the competition it might be exciting but not as a player or as a club.

“It turns your life upside down. I’ve made great friends with the players here and I know what happens if you do get relegated.

“It was a very tough time (in 2017); I went from being a full-time rugby player to going home (to Australia), digging holes and playing rugby part-time while training at night.

“I don’t wish that upon anyone.”

Drinkwater, of course, earned his reprieve with today’s opponents Catalans Dragons, joining them in April last year and helping them to an historic Challenge Cup final win at Wembley.

But London won in Perpignan last time out and Rovers – who suffered a hugely disappointing 38-10 home loss to fellow relegation rivals Wakefield Trinity in their previous game – are hoping to follow the Broncos’ lead.

Some teams got plenty of time off during the break for the Challenge Cup final but Drinkwater said: “We didn’t deserve to be off holidaying or sunning ourselves anywhere.

“We got plenty of work done and we needed to. It’s massive now. These last three games are all must-wins.

“To let that Wakey game slip like we did probably put more pressure on us going over to Catalans.

“But London showed when they went over there you can beat this team. We’re going there full of confidence and expecting to win.”

Catalans, in seventh, have been wildly inconsistent again but Drinkwater said: “They are a great team and get a great crowd where the locals get into it. They have been blowing hot and cold with their form but I’ve no doubt they will be pushing for that top five spot and will see this as a must-win, too.

“It’s going to be two sides really going for it needing the win for different reasons.”

Recent signings Dean Hadley, Kyle Trout and Jez Litten have all benefitted from more training sesions with their new team-mates over the last fortnight.

He added: “Now people have had more time with us and with three games to go, we’ve just got to get it right.

“There can’t be any excuses, we’ve just got to click.”