Gidley convinced England can use Ratchford


Warrington pivot Kurt Gidley believes that Stefan Ratchford‘s versatility makes him an important asset for Wayne Bennett’s England squad in the Four Nations this year.

While Ratchford sometimes seems to suffer at international time due to his being perceived as a utility player rather than a specialist, Gidley feels that England need someone with his team-mates’s range of abilities.

“Utilty player isn’t such a bad tag!” he smiled, speaking to Love Rugby League.

“I’ve always had a couple of roles, at full back or in the halves, but when I played for rep teams, I was always a utlity.

“I wouldn’t have played half the rep games I’ve played in if I didn’t have that ability to play in several positions.

“We know how important Stefan is for Warrington, whether he plays full back, or has to step in in the halves, or wherever else.

“It’s a pretty good badge to hold. If you’re given a role then your coaches and your team mates know you’re going to be able to do it.

“I think utility is a spot that suits Stefan.

“Stef can handle it, whether he plays at full back, hooker or in the halves. That’s an important thing for a rep team to have.”

Gidley also believes that two more of his Wire team-mates would be able to handle themselves in the NRL, given the chance.

“I think the Super League is a strong competition,” he said.

“With the NRL, the difference is that they’ve got a bigger catchment of players, and junior players that play the game in Australia, as opposed to here in England.

Chris Hill is a fantastic front rower – one of the best I’ve played with.

“His engine, his footwork, his ball skills are amazing.

Ben Currie is another one who could make the transition to the NRL.

“If I’m going to make comparisons to players in the NRL – there’s two guys in my team who could keep up with NRL players.”