St Helens full-back Jack Welsby is a must for England’s World Cup campaign, according to former captain Jamie Peacock.
Welsby, 20, burst onto the scene with St Helens in 2020, scoring the dramatic try that won the Grand Final. He was ever-present for his club in 2021.
He has inherited the full-back role from Lachlan Coote for 2022 but Peacock says he deserves a place in England’s World Cup squad because of his ability to play virtually anywhere in the team.
Peacock also wants to see Leeds captain Kruise Leeming included in England coach Shaun Wane’s updated squad when it is unveiled on Tuesday.
Jamie Peacock says Jack Welsby is a must in England’s 17
“Kruise Leeming has played well for Leeds so far this season,” Peacock said. “Jack Welsby is a great player who needs to be in your 17 in the World Cup just for that utility value he brings from the bench.”
Another player who has caught the eye of Peacock so far in 2022 is Wigan’s 21-year-old Bromley-born centre or back-rower Kai Pearce-Paul.
“Given his size and physique and the way he plays the game, he could have a long and successful career at the top,” Peacock said.
“He’s a long way off yet but he’s certainly got the potential. He’s been impressive this year.
“I think he’s going to be quite a devastating back-rower once he gets two or three seasons under his belt. His attitude has been quite outstanding.”
Peacock praises St Helens
Peacock has been disappointed with the strict refereeing that has resulted in a flurry of red and yellow cards but has been impressed with the standard of rugby and says champions St Helens remain the team to beat.
“I’ve been pretty impressed by the quality of the rugby and the intensity of the games,” he said.
“I think the players have done a great job representing the sport, particularly when it’s been on Channel 4.
“It looks like Saints have improved again. They are the stand-out team again and they’re going to take some beating this year.”
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