Joe Westerman: I'll face fight for Hull FC starting place
JOE Westerman admits he'll have to be at his best to hold down a regular starting place in a highly competitive pack for Hull FC next season.
Despite the loss of Willie Manu to St Helens, Hull have added experienced former Grand Final winners in Gareth Ellis and Ben Galea to strengthen their squad for 2013.
With the likes of Danny Tickle, Richard Whiting and Liam Kent also competing for a back-row position, coach Peter Gentle has an abundance of options.
And that has left Westerman, brought to the club from Castleford in 2010 as one of the players of the future, in no doubts about the challenge ahead.
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"When you bring in players like Gareth Ellis and Ben Galea, who play a similar position, that is big for the club, but big for us back rowers too," Westerman told the Mail.
"At the end of the day we all want to be in the 17 each week, but if you aren't playing to your best, you won't get picked this year.
"I don't think anyone is secure in their position and that's great for Peter Gentle and good for the players too, because we'll all have to work really hard to get a position in his team."
Westerman is determined to impress early in pre-season as a result of the increased competition and, excited about the challenge of earning his place in the side, the former England Knights captain believes the increased competition for places will help push the Black and Whites higher up the table next year.
"As a team we all know this season we have a good enough team to be competing at the highest level," he added.
"We've brought in a group of players that means everyone in this squad is now being challenged for their positions and that will make us stronger."