To be honest I’ve lost touch with England under Wayne Bennett and I know I won’t be the only one, but despite the constant moaning and reluctance to pay to watch the Samoa test earlier in the year, I’ll still vividly watch the upcoming World Cup, and prey England can achieve something in it.
To do that, and yes I’ve got my Black and White blinkers on now, they’ll need some quality, quality that is in Hull FC’s armoury, as two consecutive Super League semi-finals and Challenge Cup final wins show.
With that in mind, here’s five Hull players that must be on the plane to Australia.
Big Jud received more Man of Steel votes this year than any other prop in Super League. What does that tell you? Well it’s simple really, the players think he’s the best front rower in the competition. If they think that then surely the coach should too? Well that would be the logical thing to assume. Wattsy has been head and shoulders the best prop in the league this season. He’s created a new dimension to his game. He’s not just a hit up man, but a creative spark too. His passing, offload and line running skills can match anyone. The only downside is, and to my knowledge at least, he doesn’t have an Australian grandmother.
I bet some people will laugh at this but as far as raw talent goes he deserves a spot in the team. When the chips are down Connor can make something happen. He’s done that for Hull all season. He’s had a sensational first year here and some of the things he does, testified in last weeks semi-final, are just freakish. If England are going with an eighty minute hooker then they won’t do much worse than to put someone like Jake on the bench. He’s got that spark and he’ll wind you up rotten too. Australia never seem intimidated by England – they need someone to get under their skin.
In modern history you’ll struggle to find a more dominating performance than Marc Sneyd’s Wembley display this year. He tore Wigan apart – he was absolutely incredible and is the big game player England so desperately lack. Sneyd’s kicking game is lethal and with that alone he would fit in nicely to the international set up, especially with England seeming to play so conservative under Bennett. Pressure doesn’t faze Sneyd, he’s the most laid back man in the world, and he always delivers when it matters.
Comfortably in the England set up already Tag will likely be included in the squad again. Like a number of his Hull team-mates he usually steps up in the big games – cue Challenge Cup semi-final and final. Behind Alex Walmsley he was the third most voted prop in the Man of Steel votes too, so he’s obviously doing something right. Tag has got big game experience in abundance, he knows the England regimes, and has the leg drives to match any.
Involved in the training squad at the start of the year coach Wayne Bennett has obviously seen something in Jamie. Blessed with raw speed the fullback has scored some breathtaking tries in Super League this season. He’s a freak at times. His pace is devastating and usually too hot to deal with. Defensively he’s good as any under the high bomb and is constantly improving. The only downside would be is that his pivot play isn’t the strongest, but with a third pivot likely to be in the side already in Sean O’Loughlin, that’s not necessary a bad thing.
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