Paul McShane believes James Roby remains England’s best hooker and hopes the St Helens great reverses his international retirement, even at his own expense.
McShane faces a fight to secure a place in Shaun Wane’s World Cup squad, having been named on the bench in last month’s international against the Combined Nations All Stars.
Rivals for the position Kruise Leeming and Daryl Clark played for the All Stars in that fixture, with Josh Hodgson a long-term injury absentee.
There has been a growing clamour for Roby to return to international duty, ever since St Helens and England coach Paul Wellens revealed on the Love Rugby League Podcast that England would welcome the record-breaking Super League hooker back with open arms.
And speaking exclusively on this week’s Love Rugby League Podcast episode, McShane reveals he would also want Roby back, even if it cost him his own chance at playing in a World Cup.
“As an England fan it would be great to see Roby back,” McShane said.
“How he performs he is still the best nine in the comp and I don’t think there is anyone who can get anywhere near him.
“And I’m saying that as a bloke who would probably end up missing out for it, but as an England fan he is the best we have got still. I just need to pick up my game to make sure I’m better at getting in there.”
Paul McShane: I need to improve to make World Cup squad
McShane admits his own form with Castleford this season has been below the high standards he sets for himself and says England head coach Shaun Wane has warned him he needs to improve to make the squad.
He said: “I need to be at the top of my game and I am a bit off it at the minute if I’m brutally honest with myself, I’m not to the standards where I want to be.
“I need to get back up and if not I’ll miss out. We have that many nines champing at the bit to get in there, I just need to worry about me to get myself in there and if I don’t I’ve got nobody else to blame. What is expected of me from Waney and my club is fairly simple so I just need to sort myself out.
“I had a slow start to the season and feel like I’m getting there and it’s a long year. I normally peak early in the season so this is a different approach but now I feel fresh I know I can go even better.”