Sydney Roosters forward Victor Radley has formally pledged his allegiance to England for the World Cup later this year.
Radley qualifies for England through his father, Nigel, who is from Sheffield – the venue for the last of England’s three group games in the competition, against Greece on October 29.
The 24-year-old was a member of the Sydney Roosters team which won consecutive NRL Grand Finals in 2018 and 2019, and the 2019 and 2020 World Club Challenge against Wigan and St Helens.
He represented the Junior Kangaroos against France in 2019 and was a member of the extended 22-man NSW squad for the recent State of Origin in Perth, but did not play.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” Radley said of his decision.
“I’ve always wanted to play for England for my old man. Everybody wants to do the right thing by their dad, don’t they?
“Dad’s proud of where he’s from, proud of his family, proud of supporting Sheffield Wednesday.
“This was a gut feeling that it’s what I want to do – and with the World Cup coming up in England at the end of this year, it was now or never.
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“If I ended up sitting there watching the World Cup and knowing I could have been playing for England – that wouldn’t have felt good.”
England coach Shaun Wane spent some time in Australia earlier this year, and monitors performances in the NRL as closely as those in the Betfred Super League.
“I’ve always said that I’m open to selecting players who want to represent their English heritage – but they have to be outstanding in their position, and 100% committed,” Wane said.
“I rate Victor Radley very highly as a player, and he’s a great addition to the options we have in a position where we have some really strong contenders. We need quality in depth in every position, and Victor is a big addition to that.
“He now joins the group we already have playing in the NRL who will be part of our preparations for the World Cup. We’re in regular touch, sharing a lot of information with them, to make sure they’re all ready to be part of our squad if they’re selected.”