Evergreen forward Adrian Morley will cherish every second he gets in an England jersey after he felt his days in the international fold were numbered when he missed out against the Exiles last summer.
This week he arrived in South Africa with a fresh lease of life and is ready to be part of Steve McNamara’s plans for the forthcoming Autumn International Series.
“After missing out against the Exiles, I was determined to get back in the squad,” said England’s most capped player.
“I feared it was over and I didn’t want my international career to end this way. Now I feel I can continue playing for my country right through the next few weeks against Wales and France and see what happens after that.
“We have a lot of competition for places in the front row. There are some great forwards coming through with Chris Hill, Lee Mossop and Luke Burgess all ready to play their part. To be training alongside these lads has sort of given me a new lease of life, which I love. I still have the desire to be part of the England programme and give it all I can to play in the World Cup next year.”
With this week’s announcement that Kevin Sinfield will lead England into the Autumn International Series, Morley feels McNamara has made an astute choice in selecting the Leeds Rhinos skipper to take the national team forward.
“I’m made up for Sinny (Kevin Sinfield) – he is a great leader and is the perfect successor to Jamie (Peacock),” he said.
“He is an exceptional professional and does everything to his maximum. This is the start of an exciting new chapter for English Rugby League and he will give the team great leadership both on and off the field.
“The squad that is being assembled is the best we have had for a long time and the work we are doing behind the scenes, such as the high-altitude training in South Africa, is diverse and professional. It is just what is required if we are going to attack the World Cup on home soil. It is an exciting time to be part of the national set up and I can’t wait to play my part.”