Bennett: Williams could handle the NRL

George Williams would be a hit in the NRL, according to new England coach Wayne Bennett.

Wednesday, 12th October 2016, 7:17 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 6:25 pm
George Williams starred in the Grand Final victory

The Wigan stand-off has been named in Bennett’s first national squad ahead of the upcoming Four Nations series.

The likes of Sam and George Burgess, James Graham and Josh Hodgson have become stars in the competition Down Under.

And Bennett said: “I’m sure the boys playing in the UK who I’ve picked would get the same headlines if they were in Australia.

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“They’re a very talented group on the whole, and the individual skill levels are very high.

“George Williams is a fine example; I’ve watched him a lot and he’s a guy who could handle the NRL.

“He’s just one of many I believe could handle it. It’s the competition here which brings the best out of you.”

Williams is one of four Wigan players in the England squad, along with John Bateman, Liam Farrell and Dan Sarginson.

Sean O’Loughlin, Sam Tomkins and Dom Manfredi are injured.

Meanwhile, Bennett says he would be happy to travel to England next February with his Brisbane Broncos side to take part in a third successive World Club Series.

A clutch of top NRL clubs have cooled on the idea and beaten Grand Finalists Melbourne Storm have formally turned down the chance to play, throwing the additional two games of the ‘series’ into doubt.

Bennett said: “We would be keen to travel. I spoke to Nigel (Wood, RFL chief executive) and told him that the whole concept has got the club’s backing.

“We love coming over, we’ve enjoyed it in the last couple of years as a club and we’re also trying to host one here in the pre-season.

“But if that doesn’t come to fruition and there’s a vacancy to come over to England we will certainly go.

“The other clubs have all got their reasons I’m sure, but we don’t find it interferes with our season really.

“We’ve played in a Grand Final, gone for the World Club Series and started the following year well, so I can’t find a fault with it.

“Personally I’d be extremely disappointed if we shared the same view (as those other NRL clubs).”

Wigan are set to host NRL champions Cronulla Sharks in the World Club Challenge, at the DW Stadium in February.