Rams’ Dom Speakman says his priority for 2018 is finding consistency, while also confirming that he is eager to secure a spot at hooker in the match day 17.

Alongside Robbie Ward and Sam Day, competition for places in the position is fierce.

The former St Helens junior played part of last season in a half-back role, and while he says he’d be open to an opportunity there, he believes he can play his best rugby from acting-half.

“I want to play at hooker. I have filled in at half-back, and can play that position when needed, but I really want to play in the hooker position, where I feel I can produce my best rugby,” he said.

“I can play in the halves, and I don’t mind being there, and if there is a spare position going then I have a good chance of playing.

“But this year the squad is very strong and we have a lot of competition for places.”

Speakman is preparing for his third season with the club after joining in 2016.

“I want a consistent year. I missed about ten weeks last season due to injury, which was difficult,” he said.

“You would have a good spell, then get injured, then work your way back, and then get injured again; it was frustrating.

“I had a broken foot, and so I couldn’t be on the field. You just have to do your gym work and get on with it.

“It was hard, though, because you would catch the lads before and after training, but because you couldn’t be with them on the field you missed the banter and all the rest of it goes with being out there.”

Read the rest of Steven Downes’ interview with Dom Speakman in Friday’s match day programme.