“We’re going to win the World Cup.” Those were the words spoken to Victor Radley by England boss Shaun Wane immediately after confirming his international allegiance.
The 24-year-old Sydney Roosters loose forward has turned his back on New South Wales and Australia to follow his gut feeling and represent his heritage on the international scene.
Radley qualifies for England through his father, Nigel, who moved from Yorkshire to Sydney in the 1980s.
The forward was a part of the New South Wales extended squad earlier this year for State of Origin Game II, before committing to England.
He was the latest guest on James Graham’s podcast, ‘The Bye Round’ and revealed one of the first conversions he had with Wane after declaring his intentions to represent England at this year’s World Cup.
Victor Radley: ‘I had this gut feeling that I really want to play for England’
“I remember sitting there and I was umming and ahing how to do it,” Radley told Graham on the latest episode.
“I told my dad and stuff that I was thinking about it and my mum and Robbo [Trent Robinson]. Then I just got Shaun Wane’s number from Sam [Burgess] and just rang him.
“He was the first person I spoke to and I know how proud all the Englishmen are. I never wanted to ring and say I was thinking about it or doing this, I wanted to make my decision.
“I wanted to ring him and say mate if you want me for the World Cup, I’m all in. If you want me in the squad, I’ll be there. I got his number, rang him, told him that and he sounds like a hard man. He said I look forward to working with you and we’re going to go win the World Cup and straight away I was so happy with the decision.
“Once I rang and told him I told Robbo so he knew. Then I think I told my dad when I saw him. I spoke to Freddy [Brad Fittler], he was good and gave me some good advice and that was pretty much all the people I needed to speak to.”
Victor Radley on England decision
Radley made his intentions public earlier in July this year, having previously represented Junior Kangaroos.
Former England captain Graham asked Radley on how the decision came about.
Radley responded: “Personally, I always had it in the back of my mind but I never brought it to the forefront. I had this gut feeling that I really want to play for England.
“I gave myself a few months to sit on it and I thought about it a fair bit. Although I couldn’t go past the feeling I had in my chest and the gut feeling about playing for them.
“I’m so stoked and I can’t wait. Oliver Gildart has come into our side and I’ve spoken to him about it. I’m all in and I can’t wait.
“The first time I spoke to Shaun Wane after that, I was so happy with my decision. I want to play for England for the next however long he wants me. I can’t wait.”