IT’S certainly been a tough four weeks in the England camp but now it’s time to celebrate.
We had to win the series this year and we worked hard to make sure it happened. The preparation we put in before it was really detailed and every player in the England squad really showed how much they wanted success against New Zealand.
It’s been said already but the series win really was deserved.
And we made sure we enjoyed it too!
After our win on Saturday we headed into Manchester to mark the end of a long season and it was nice to be able to finish on a high for England.
It was special to come back home to the DW Stadium and the atmosphere was nothing short of what I expected.
For me personally, winning the series and being involved with all three Test matches as well as the France game is up there with one of the best things I’ve ever doneLiam Farrell
I’m not just saying this, there really is nothing like the DW Stadium when it’s full and it gave me and the other Wigan lads in the side a little extra incentive to make sure we clinched the series and had a special memory.
We only normally get crowds like that for derbies so we make the most of it when we get to play in front of a full-house, and we knew it would be good.
The atmosphere was much better than in London and while I appreciate we have to look at ways to expand the game, the more matches like this we can have in Wigan the better!
We tried not to pay attention to it but the small matter of that unbeaten streak at the DW was also in the back of the minds of the Wigan lads.
We have a long unbeaten run at home, since February if you count extra-time in the World Club Series match and even longer if you don’t, so we were happy to preserve that record.
Steve McNamara brought in Matty Smith and Jermaine McGillvary for the final Test and they were two massive changes which affected the dynamic of the side.
Both lads did really well and it was a good move from McNamara – it gave us the lift we needed with the organization Matty brought to the side and the strength with which Jermaine kept bringing the ball back.
I felt for George Williams and Joe Burgess but they will come back.
They are both young lads and will only become stronger players from their international experience. They can both be proud of themselves.
Despite great performances across the park, I was most chuffed for Lockers.
He showed what a player he is by winning the man-of-the-series award and he is respected by players in the NRL.
I honestly don’t think we’d have won the series without him.
For me personally, winning the series and being involved with all three Test matches as well as the France game is up there with one of the best things I’ve ever done.
I do what’s needed of me and I’m proud to represent England, but if I’m being honest, I wasn’t 100 per cent happy with my attack. But we won the series and I’m proud to have been part of it.
Winning the series against the Kiwis made my year a little bit better but Wigan’s Grand Final loss is still there.
This year has been disappointing from a Wigan point of view.
I have a bit of time off now as do the rest of the international lads – we’re due back in January – but when we come back the focus has to be on having a big year.
My focus for 2016 is definitely a team one – I want us to win something because it’s been two years now and we’re a big club. We should be winning silverware.
What players to with their time off varies from person to person. All players are different and handle the end of the season depending on how their bodies feel.
I’ll have a short break before getting back into it. All the Wigan lads not involved with England were all back in this week to get ready for next season.
Pre-season is not something you look forward to. It’s a pretty grim time!
You get tested a lot and there is a lot of focus on making yourself better – it’s tough but it’s what’s needed to make sure we have the best shot of winning back some trophies.