Charnley out to prove he’s more than just a try scorer

Wigan and England winger Josh Charnley says he’s eager to prove he’s more than just a try scorer ahead of a potential World Cup bow this Autumn.

Charnley was still to make his Super League debut in 2008, but has been tipped by many to cement his spot in Steve McNamara’s squad for Rugby League World Cup 2013.

The England Elite Training Squad is in camp at their training base in Loughborough during the early part of this week, and Charnley admits that it’s an exciting time to be a part of the international set up.

“It’s a very exciting time for me. I’m an England player and there’s a World Cup around the corner, and not only that, it’s on home soil as well,” he said.

“It’s an opportunity for the players and it’s an opportunity for our own fans to see a major competition, so it should be really good.

“I’m massively focused on playing well for Wigan at the moment, and if I’m playing well in the Super League then Steve McNamara will select me.

“The World Cup should be at the back of every ambitious player’s mind, but I don’t find it too difficult to just focus on Wigan.

“I’m keen to show that I’m more than just a try scorer. It’s a big year for me.”

Charnley and Ryan Hall are expected by many to fill the two wing spots for England’s clash with the Exiles next month, though the Wiganer notes that there are other players capable of challenging for a place.

“There are a lot of young players coming through the ranks, and then there’s Tom Briscoe and Jermaine McGillvary, who already are class players.

“But I just want to concentrate on my game, play as well as I can, and hopefully everything else will take care of itself.”

Should England qualify for the quarter-finals behind Australia, they’d play their next game at the DW Stadium, and Charnley admits he’d relish the chance to play in front of his own fans.

“Playing for England at the DW Stadium would be massive for me. I take great pride in representing my country, but to do it in my home town would be on another level.

“To play in front of the supporters who follow you all year would be very special, and I really think the Warriors fans will pack the stadium.

“They’re the best fans in the Super League, they follow us around everywhere, and I’m sure they’ll be as keen when the World Cup comes around.”

But Charnley added that he’d be happy to put club allegiances to one side and face off against Wigan team-mate Pat Richards in England’s clash with Ireland in Group A.

“There could be a showdown between the two of us. We’re good mates and it’s a privilege to play alongside him.

“But the second we cross that whiteline this Autumn, that’ll go out of the window, we’ll be opponents, and I’d relish that opportunity.

“It’s something I’d look forward to. He’s shown me so much over the years, he’s been massive for me, but it’d be great to get the chance to show him what he’s taught me.”

England face Australia at the Millennium Stadium on October 26, Ireland at the John Smith’s Stadium on November 2 and Fiji at the KC Stadium on November 9.

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