He said: “There is a great group of people over there that have been involved in the game and putting in a lot of hard work behind the scenes for many years. For them to get to the stage where the USA are competing at a World Cup is special for them.
“I’ve probably played in bigger games in my career, but to see the blokes over there who have developed it, struggled and come through to be on this sort of stage is pretty special, and that’s what gives me the biggest buzz about it.”
McGoldrick, who was born in Queensland, Australia, qualifies for USA through his maternal grandmother, and first visited family in the States at the age of five, spending every Christmas over there, and they came to watch their relative when he turned out in the World Cup qualifiers against Jamaica and South Africa last year.
“When I was at Castleford, Mick Robinson had a fair bit to do with the USA side, and we got talking one day and I said ‘you know my grandma is American’ and it went from there. They were keen, they asked if I would be interested, and I thought when I’m 80 and sitting back in a bar telling really bad stories, it would be pretty cool, so I was up for that, and it went from there. It’s actually been more enjoyable than I thought it would be.
“All mum’s side of her family – her brother and three sisters – all live over there, and my grandma, so when I was over they were all there watching. I don’t think they understood much, they were cheering and they got a fair bit of a buzz out of it, that a relative of theirs was playing over in their country.”
McGoldrick is now in his eighth season in the UK, having joined Castleford from Cronulla ahead of the 2006 season. He joined Hull midway through last season, and signed a two-year deal at Salford once their financial worries had cleared at the beginning of this year.
“The World Cup is a big thing. It’s hard to break in to the market in America. Anything they’ve invented is the best. So for them, publicity and advertising is massive. Anything that’s a World Cup or on the world stage, America wants to be involved. It gives it some credibility, and the marketing team has a springboard to launch this off.
“That’s what I think is more important than coming over here and winning every game they play – exposure for the game.”