New role for Wigan Warriors star Joe Greenwood on England debut
Warriors star Joe Greenwood has revealed England boss Wayne Bennett has asked for '˜nothing spectacular' on his Test debut.
The 25-year-old, who joined Wigan mid-season from Gold Coast Titans, will come off the bench during this Sunday’s Third Test against the Kiwis in the unfamiliar position of prop.But the second rower says he will ‘embrace’ his job for the national side.
“Wayne says he doesn’t want anything spectacular from me, just to run hard and tackle hard,” said Greenwood.
“It’s a new position for me. I’m used to running out on the edges but I’ll embrace it and just do what props do, cart the ball in and tackle in the middle.”Greenwood, a former St Helens forward, has been given extra help during training from fellow ex-Saint James Graham to prepare him for his new role.
“When I was really young, I started in the centres and then moved into the back row but when we’ve had injuries in the game, I’ve been put in there for about five minutes so to come on at prop is going to be something different,” he said.
“We do extras with the forwards and Jammer (James Graham) keeps tipping me up.”
Sunday marks the end of an eventful season for Greenwood, having gone from kicking his heels on the sidelines at the Titans before arriving at Wigan to help them to a fourth Super League Grand Final triumph before a surprise inclusion in the England squad.
“The first time being in camp, it’s been a great experience but I never thought with the personnel we’ve got I’d get my opportunity this time,” he admitted.
“But with the injuries that have occurred, it’s come earlier than expected and I’ll grab it with both hands.
“It’s a massive opportunity and I’m grateful to get a call-up. It’s a dream from being little to play for your country and my time has come.
“It’s been a manic six months, winning the Grand Final with Wigan and now this.
“It’s a real roller-coaster ride and I’ve loved it.”
In some ways, Greenwood’s Test debut comes with some of the pressure taken off, given that last week’s 20-14 win at Anfield secured the Series, and Baskerville Shield.
But the chance to secure a 3-0 win over former Wigan coach Michael Maguire’s Kiwis will be more than enough motivation for the England camp.
“Obviously we’ve got the series won so there’s a bit less pressure on us but we want to do the whitewash so we’ve still got our heads on going into the last game,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to it, a few more Weetabix and I should be right to go.”