HE is known as The Wire’s “Mr Consistent”, but Jack Hughes is challenging himself to be even more reliable in weeks to come.

The second rower’s work often goes unheralded but finally, the plaudits and accolades have started to come.

After being chosen to lead the England Knights squad on their post-season tour of Papua New Guinea last year, Steve Price named him as co-captain of The Wire alongside Chris Hill.

However, the former Wigan man – who was also named in England’s latest Elite Performance Squad – believes adapting to his new leadership role has meant his personal form has taken more of a back seat.

PRICE Q&A > Wire boss on small pitches, loose forwards and Austin-Patton partnership

“I feel a bit up-and-down at the minute. I’m not as consistent as I’d like to be,” he said.

“Winning as a team helps every individual, but I’ve got the leadership role now so I’m having to put a bit more focus into that.

“I’m doing my best to lead the boys as well as myself.

“I would like to be a bit more consistent and keep pushing to get back to where I was.”

Hughes has played in all but one of The Wire’s games this season – he was rested against London Broncos on April 5 but has played in all of the games in and around Easter.

In a period heavily criticised for the huge stresses it puts on the bodies of players, the 27-year-old gave an interesting insight as to how he conditions his mind to keep coming back for more.

“It’s pretty tough, but you don’t really get time to think about how sore or tired you actually are when you’re in the thick of it,” he said.

“You have to mentally prepare yourself to go again and it kind of works. As tough as it is, you find yourself getting through it.

“It’s not as hard as you think it is prior to the Easter period, but you start to feel it a bit more when you’re coming out of the back end of it, as we are now.

“The coaching staff are looking after us – training is a lot lighter and we’re off our feet a lot more.

“It will be like that until we can get a good week of rest in us then we can start ramping it up again going into the middle of the season.

“Some players like training and some don’t, but everybody loves playing.

“The strength and conditioning guys get the intensity levels right and always put our welfare first.

“We’ve come through pretty healthy and we’re in a good place moving forward.”

> Akauola relishing competition for places

Hughes started Sunday’s 50-19 win over Huddersfield Giants at loose forward and may do so again when Wolves visit Castleford Tigers tomorrow, Friday.

The tight surroundings of the Mend-A-Hose Jungle pose a unique test but the co-captain believes it may play to his side’s strengths in a certain way.

“One of our strong points is going forward out of yardage and making metres up the field,” he said.

“On that pitch, that will mean we’ll find ourselves in some good field position – more than usual.

“They’ve got threats all over the field. Daryl Powell has them well-drilled and the players have bought into what he wants.

“There’s speed out wide and strong boys in the middle who can play and offload, so we’ll have to be at our best defensively all over the pitch.

“It would be a big achievement for us to win. The Jungle is pretty much a fortress for them – they love playing there and to be honest, so do I.

“Hopefully the legs will be a bit fresher come Friday and we’ll have the fire in the belly we’ll need to come away from there with two points.”