The 18-man squad, which is made up of seven Australians and 11 players representing New Zealand and the Pacific nations, reported to their Leeds training base on Sunday night and McClennan was delighted with how quickly the team got into shape ahead of Friday’s battle against England.
“The players have come straight into camp with a great attitude and have gelled really well, which is very positive,” said McClennan.
“We are representing all the nations Down Under and it is an honour to be part of the first ever International Origin Game.
“There is a real buzz about the camp and the players are looking forward to training hard this week, understanding our combinations and the way we want them to play. By Friday we will be ready for the match and giving it our all to win.”
Due to the maximum three player per club rule, the former New Zealand and Leeds Rhinos coach was forced to leave out a player each from Warrington and St Helens respectively, but despite the selection predicament, McClennan is pleased to finally get working on his squad.
“Having to reduce the squad down to the 18 has been difficult and I would like to thank those players who have missed out – they have taken it well,” explained McClennan.
“It is always difficult to leave quality players out and at any other time those players would have easily been involved – that shows the depth of overseas talent in the Engage Super League.”