Farrell targets more England caps after impressing in win over France
Liam Farrell hopes its not five years between England caps again after his enthusiasm for international rugby was rekindled by a try-scoring appearance in the 30-10 win over France, writes TREVOR BAXTER.
And Farrell reckons his desire to be part of Shaun Wane’s World Cup squad in 12 month’s time can only benefit Wigan Warriors’ bid to become a Super League powerhouse once more.
With new England captain John Bateman touching down twice in Perpignan, the Warriors’ duo provided half of England’s six tries on Saturday. Former Wigan winger, Tom Davies, also scored.
Farrell was frozen out of the international picture from November 2016 – when he played against Scotland in the Four Nations – until the mid-season defeat to the Combined All Stars back in June.
But with caps not awarded for the Headingley appearance only now has the Ginger Pearl added to his stalled tally of 10.
“I’ve always wanted to play for my country so it’s been disappointing I wasn’t able to do that in the last few years,” he said.
“I am pretty laid back and would never beat myself up or get stressed up about getting picked for internationals.
“But this has definitely whetted the appetite again.
“Hopefully, I can try and keep my club form going next year so I can be involved in the World Cup.
“I know if I play well for my club then there is a possibility of recognition at international level.
“I am always focused on being the best I can be for Wigan,” said Farrell, named in Super League’s Dream Team for 2019, 2020 and 2021.
Farrell is full of praise for Bateman’s first taste of captaining his country at senior level.
And it may give new Warriors’ boss Matty Peet food for thought as he contemplates who will lead the club in 2022.
Tommy Leuluai wore the armband until a hamstring injury ended his season in August.
“He (Bateman) is not the person who will talk and talk and talk,” said Farrell, who has previously skippered the Cherry and Whites on a temporary basis.
“He doesn’t lead in that kind of way, he leads by example. I have played under Sean O’Loughlin who always led by actions and John did a great job for us.”
Farrell has at least another month off before returning for pre-season training. And he is intrigued by the dynamic offered by Wigan’s new coaching set-up, spearheaded by Peet, chosen as successor to Adrian Lam.
“I think Matty will bring a lot,’ said the durable 31-year-old forward.
“He has got the right attitude; he is honest and will tell players how he feels.
“It will be interesting because there is a really good coaching squad.
“I am looking forward to seeing how they all interact. But Matty will have a big influence on how we go.”
And in their 150th year, Wigan need to improve on a season of underachievement in 2021.
“The season didn’t end well for us and we have work to do to make ourselves better for next year,” agreed Faz.
“We have big improvements to make.
“If we can get some silverware this year, which is expected from ourselves and the fans, that would be great. But we have a lot of work to be beforehand.
“If we do that then maybe there is a chance of a Challenge Cup or Grand Final.”
lWiganer Bob Beswick,
who made 22 appearances for his home town club at the start of his career, has announced his retirement.
Beswick, who will be 37 in December, played for Newcastle Thunder last season.
lAs one ex-Wigan player leaves the Championship side, former Warriors prospect Craig Mullen has linked up with coach Eamon O’Carroll.
Utility back Mullen, 23, spent last season with Leigh. Thunder are going full-time in 2022 to step up their bid for Super League status.