Whitehaven-born Super League star Kyle Amor is heading for the southern hemisphere after being named in the Ireland squad for the RL World Cup.
Amor, has capped another fine season for St Helens, with a call-up to Mark Aston’s Irish side for the tournament.
And the prop, who began his professional career with Whitehaven, says he can’t wait to get stuck in.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” said Amor, who was in Wayne Bennett’s initial England training squad but will now fight the Irish cause Down Under.
“I have been in the England 40-man squad but have never been lucky enough to make it to the final 24,” Amor explained.
“But I played for Ireland back in 2010 so I have represented them before.
“I missed out on the last World Cup after having a wrist operation and being 30, realistically this could be my last chance to play in a World Cup.
“Especially one in Australia, these kind of life experiences don’t come round too often, visiting places like Papua New Guinea.
“So I was more than happy when I got the call from the Ireland coach to go and represent them again.”
The strong-running prop knows it will be no easy task for Ireland.
He said: “All of the teams at international level have got some Super League or NRL experience.
“So it is going to be tough but very enjoyable. We are going to approach each game at a time and hopefully get through the group stages and go from there.”
Amor will be joined in the squad by Ed Chamberlain, who has had spells on loan with both Workington Town and Whitehaven.
And there will be another Cumbrian presence in the squad with Barrow’s Leeds Rhinos star Brad Singleton also in the mix.
“It will be good to have my good mate Brad in there,” added Amor.
“I knew him from my days at Leeds and a loan spell at Wakefield so we have always kept in touch.
“It will be awesome to play alongside him again and I was made up for him winning the Grand Final at the weekend.”
And he will be going up against several team-mates in the competition and he admits that can be strange but something they all have to be professional about.
“You treat everyone with respect but you also have to be professional and you are out there to do a job and win,” he added.
The team fly out to Australia tomorrow (Friday) to give themselves a fortnight of acclimatisation ahead of their opening match, an inter-group game against Italy in Cairns on October 29.
Ireland then head to Port Moresby to take on World Cup co-hosts Papua New Guinea in Group C on November 5, followed by their final pool match against Wales in Perth on November 12.
Amor admitted he did not finish the Super League season with a flourish but he aims to put all that behind him in the World Cup.
“I had a bit of a disappointing end to the season myself,” Amor admitted.
“I got dropped for the last three games and that was the first time it had ever happened to me.
“But I have trained hard and kept myself ticking over and I am determined to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”
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