The Liam Farrell column: ‘Weirdly, it makes it easier missing out to Aussies’

Liam Farrell has been left out of the England squad
Liam Farrell has been left out of the England squad

I am disappointed to miss out on the England squad, but it is what it is.

Wayne Bennett has gone with a squad he thinks can do a job against Samoa, he’s picked players who are in-form and there are some good players in his 20-man squad, so I can’t complain.

A few people have asked me how I feel about missing out when there are two Australian-born forwards in the squad.

Honestly – and for a weird reason – it actually makes it easier for myself that he’s picked a couple of Aussies instead of two other forwards from Super League. I’m not sure why.

But I’ll not look into it too much. He’s gone with what he thinks is right – they’re eligible to play for England and he’s decided to pick them instead.

Hopefully they’ll do a job for England. I’ll still be supporting the lads when they go out there and play Samoa – even if I have to pay a fiver to do it! I do think it should be on the BBC, but obviously the RFL have done what they feel is right. And hopefully I can play well enough between now and the end of the season to earn selection for the World Cup squad.

I’m really pleased for Lockers and George – they are in the squad for the Samoa Test, and deservedly so.

They’ll fly out on Sunday, and the squad announcement has maybe taken a bit of the focus off our game this Saturday, but we realise what a big test it’ll be at Castleford.

It’s always tough there, even when Cas’ haven’t been going too well – and right now they’re top of the league!

We were pleased to pick up six points over Easter, but take away Good Friday, and our last two wins – against Wakefield and Catalans – have had areas where we could have been better, especially in defence.

Both games had 20-minute periods where we dropped off, and we won’t be able to afford to do that against Cas’.

From 16-0 against Catalans, we sat back and let them back into the game with three tries before half-time.

The first try they scored, we could accept because it was from a kick and a lucky bounce, but the other two were a bit soft and we got a roasting at half-time, and rightly so.

Though we lost Tommy to injury, we finished the game strong and scored some nice tries.

In our last game with Cas’, we started well and then they scored two quick-fire tries, and suddenly we were chasing the game. They went on to deservedly win.

We need to start well and maintain it – and that’s something we didn’t do on Sunday.

They’ve built Saturday’s match up, and it isn’t on TV so I imagine the Jungle will be packed, and we’re really looking forward to it.

They have some players who can cause teams damage – Luke Gale controls them well, Ben Roberts and Zak Hardaker add a lot to their attack, and the forwards really get them on a roll – Mike McMeeken has got in the England squad, and fair play he’s been doing really well.

So we realise we’ve got a big job on Saturday.