LIAM Farrell is playing himself into contention for the World Cup, England coach Steve McNamara admitted - the Warriors back-rower has been showered with praise this season after a string of towering performances.
And McNamara says his form has not gone unnoticed.
Asked whether he could be in his plans for the World Cup tournament later this year, McNamara said: “He’s not doing himself any harm.
“His performances are of a very high standard and it’s also the consistency of how he is knocking out those performances.
“It must be pleasing the Wigan staff, the player himself and it’s certainly pleasing me as the England coach.”
Farrell was drafted into the England squad for the autumn series last year when Ben Westwood withdrew.
But he didn’t play a Test, with McNamara instead opting to use Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Gareth Hock and Gareth Ellis.
Hock’s exit from Wigan to Widnes on loan has presented Farrell with a more regular role at the Warriors, and he has flourished with the extra minutes and responsibilities to thrust himself firmly into McNamara’s plans.
“Liam has served a really good apprenticeship - he looks like he’s done it in the right way,” said the Test coach.
“He’s a really level headed kid who works extremely hard at his game.
“He’s not the biggest so he’s had to work extremely hard to put himself in the position he’s in. He’s played off the bench for Wigan for a couple
of years to earn his stripes.
“We have quite a few a backrowers, there’s out and out edge back-rowers and forwards who play in the middle of the field a little bit – we have a nice little compliment there and it’s great to see.”
McNamara also praised Wigan for continue to develop and promote home-grown players, rather than fill their squad with stars from overseas. “It’s essential for our development and our growth,” he said. “ These players need to be playing against very high-standard opposition.
“We have a little bit of work to do on that, but the Wigan club itself – with the number of players produced in that area, supplying other clubs as well – is pleasing to see.
“They seem to have a conveyor belt of what are initially good players, converting those good players into Super Leaguer players and international players, which is an art.
“They need applauding for what they are doing.”