England coach Wayne Bennett left Tom Johnstone stunned when he arrived for training with the national side for the first time.
Johnstone will make his international debut on Wednesday when England take on France at the Leigh Sports Village.
And the Wakefield Trinity flyer recalled getting pranked by Bennett when he was first welcomed into the England camp.
“When I first met him, he came up to me and asked ‘who are you?’ and it got me a little bit,” Johnstone laughed.
“He kept a straight face so I thought ‘oh my god, he doesn’t know me!’
“I had a bit of a moment and then I told him my name and went with it and then after it, some of the boys were like ‘it’s all good’ and they are a nice bunch of lads.
“Wayne’s a really smart guy. He’s been giving me some pointers and getting all the boys working together. He’s taught me what we do with the England structure because it’s a bit different to what we do at Wakefield, so I’ve been trying to settle in and get involved.”
It has been a sensational year for Johnstone, scoring 24 tries in 23 Super League games for Wakefield as well as being named in the 2018 Super League Dream Team.
And Johnstone revealed that making his debut for England would top his year off in style.
He added: “Playing for England is a big thing and it is something that I’ve been trying to push towards for the last few years.
“I got really close to playing for England last year then I got a little injury so I didn’t but I came back this year, worked harder and its now happening. I’m absolutely buzzing to be this close to doing it and I can’t wait for the game.
“Internationals are a whole different step up. I might be playing against some of the biggest names in the world so I’ve got to make sure I get my head on with hit and show what I can do.
“I want to stake a claim for a spot on the wing for the upcoming series against New Zealand and hopefully I can do a good job against France and claim it for myself.”