Morley wants more

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6th August 2013

Adrian Morley may be in the twilight of his career with 500 games behind him but he is hungry for plenty more, not least two finals this year.

The veteran prop has a taste for the big occasion having won the Challenge Cup four times and triumphed in Grand Finals in both Britain and Australia.

Three of those Challenge Cup successes have come in the last four years with Warrington and he missed out on yet another trip to Wembley when the Wolves were stunned by Hull FC in last month's semi-finals.

Yet that has not dimmed the 36-year-old's appetite with the Wolves still riding high in Super League and bidding to make amends for last season's Grand Final loss at Old Trafford.

And then there is the prospect of a World Cup on home soil and another chance to secure the international success that has been elusive for his generation and a number of those previously.

"I am going to do my best to put myself in a position to make the England squad," said the former Leeds Rhinos and Sydney Roosters forward, who played his 500th professional game in the Wolves' Super League win at Castleford Tigers last weekend.

"It is going to be tough but, fingers crossed, I'll get a shout and get to play in the World Cup on home soil, which is extremely exciting.

"I think it will be an outstanding tournament, the best on record in the UK."

Morley has made 62 international appearances for either England or Great Britain and remains in the frame for selection.

He was a member of the England squad for the mid-season International Origin game against the Exiles but it came soon after his return from a biceps injury and he did not make the side.

Yet the World Cup is not yet in his immediate thoughts as he and his Wolves team-mates pick themselves up from the Hull loss and aim to better last year's runners-up finish in the Grand Final.

"To miss out is a pretty tough pill to swallow but you win some and lose some," said Morley, who earned his Super League Grand Final ring during a brief loan spell with Bradford Bulls in 2005.

"We were obviously disappointed - having had success in recent years, we know how special making Wembley is.

"But if you look at the big picture there is still plenty of rugby to be played.

"We need to dust ourselves down now and get back to concentrating on Super League.

"We would have liked to have gone down to Wembley but that is not going to be the case and now there will be no distractions.

"We can put all our eggs in the Super League basket. We went very close last year and hopefully we can go one better this year."

There appeared to be no loss of spirit at Warrington as within two days of the Hull defeat the whole squad were out in front of a crowd playing in Ben Westwood's testimonial cricket match at Grappenhall CC.

With an emphasis on fun, the Wolves and Grappenhall played out an entertaining curtain-raiser to an Ashes-themed England and Australia 'legends' game, featuring the likes of Andrew Flintoff and Jeff Thomson, later in the day.

The mood carried over to Wheldon Road on Sunday with the Wolves returning to their day job in an absorbing 40-30 win over the Tigers.

Morley accepts it will be hard to leave such camaraderie behind when he moves on to hometown Salford City Reds next season. But he has made difficult moves before.

Two years after winning the Challenge Cup with Leeds he joined the Roosters. He enjoyed great success Down Under before joining a Warrington side in 2006 that were still far from the force they have become since under Tony Smith.

Morley said: "I would like to think I have played my part at Warrington.

"They are a team now in a very healthy position, making these major finals. It has been wonderful.

"I have made my decision and I am pleased with the decision.

"It was tough to leave these boys, but in another way it was easy. It was something I really wanted to do, represent my home town.

"But it won't be until the last game has been played for Warrington that I'll start thinking about it. At the moment I can't really let my mind think like that."