Widnes ace Ed Chamberlain said going to the 2017 Rugby League World Cup with Ireland helped him mature into a better player.
The 22-year-old played at centre in all three of Ireland’s games after only playing eight Super League games for Widnes at the time.
And Chamberlain thought going to the World Cup with the Wolfhounds did him the world of good.
He told widnesvikings.co.uk: “Having not played many games and then at 21 being asked to play in a World Cup, in my preferred position, was incredible.
“There were other people who could have got the place in the team, but I got the nod. I’m looking to show why I should be in that position and hopefully to keep it, going forward.
“It was probably the best thing that could have happened to me. I hadn’t played much last year and my confidence was low, so I just really wanted to go.
“To then have the chance to play all three games in my preferred position of centre, and having a good role in the team, really helped my confidence. It really helped me to mature as a player.”
Ireland narrowly missed out on making it to the quarter-finals after losing 14-6 to Papua New Guinea.
And Chamberlain said he will never forget the experience and atmosphere of Port Moresby.
He added: “They were a very physical team and it was an intense game.
“They ran hard for the full 80 minutes, and it was a big challenge with the heat and the crowd being behind them.
“We didn’t get the result, but it was very close game. It was something that I’ll look back on when I’ve finished my career as being an unforgettable and proud moment.”