Cumbrian Lee Mossop to make full England debut
Last updated at 12:06, Friday, 15 June 2012
Jubilant Lee Mossop pledged he would be firing on all cylinders when he lines up against his formidable Wigan pals on his full England debut against the Exiles tomorrow (6.45pm).
The west Cumbrian will tackle fellow Warriors props Jeff Lima and Epalahame Lauaki in the International Origin opener at St Helens. And he warned he cannot afford to hold back against his club-mates.
“It will be slightly weird, but at the same time I’ll know what to expect from them,” said the ex-Hensingham junior. “During the season (at Wigan) we have become close as props, and we’ll get together before a match. We know that if we play well, the team tends to play well off the back of that.
“I’m playing for my England shirt and trying to get in the next game, so I won’t approach it differently to any other player. It’s a known fact that if you go in light-hearted, you tend to get hurt. I won’t make that mistake.”
Mossop, from Whitehaven, has progressed through the England junior ranks and he had an inkling he would be named in the initial 21-man senior squad, but then still had to get over the final hurdle in training with the England boss.
“I had to be vocal to make sure Steve McNamara saw I was capable of playing,” he said. “When he grabbed me and said I was coming off the bench I was over the moon.”
Mossop is determined to build an international career and in time develop in to a starter for England, as he has for Wigan.
He continued: “If I perform like I can, or think I can, it’s up to me to stay there. My job is to keep my performances up.
“As the years, or the games, go by, I’ll set a target to be a starting front-rower. For now, I’m just happy to be in the team.”
Another Wigan star Josh Charnley and Carl Ablett of Leeds Rhinos will also debut, and Mossop will be on the bench with fellow front-rower Garreth Carvell, from Warrington Wolves, skipper Jamie Peacock, of Leeds, and Huddersfield’s Eorl Crabtree starting up front.
“It is testament to the England Knights programme that Josh and Lee have come through the system to be part of the current elite squad,” said McNamara.
First published at 11:30, Friday, 15 June 2012
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk