Gildart considers Italy switch for World Cup

Wigan centre Oliver Gildart could switch allegiances and play for Italy at this year’s World Cup.

Gildart was born and raised in Greater Manchester, but qualifies for the Azzurri through his mother.

The 20-year old has been involved with the England Academy alongside fellow Warriors teammates Joe Burgess, Ryan Sutton and George Williams.

Gildart wants to represent England, but is set to turn out for Italy if he misses out on Wayne Bennett’s squad.

“My mum’s side of the family is Italian so I could qualify to play for them,” Gildart told Love Rugby League.

“I’d love to play for England but I think it would be a great experience if I didn’t get into that squad to go with Italy if I got selected and have that experience over there in the World Cup.”

Gildart made his Super League debut in 2015 and has scored 21 tries in 39 appearances for Wigan.

The outside back has been impressive this season and was one of the Warriors’ best in their World Club Challenge win against Cronulla.

With centre a weak position for England, Gildart is hoping he can break into Wayne Bennett’s team by the end of the season.

The likes of Kallum Watkins, Michael Shenton, Mark Percival and Dan Sarginson are all vying for selection there.

“The goal I’ve set myself is to be on that plane with the England team,” Gildart said.

“Hopefully I can keep playing and keep putting performances in and maybe I might get a sniff.”

 

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