Charnley wants England place back

Josh Charnley
Josh Charnley
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Josh Charnley wants to win back his England place after returning to rugby league with Warrington.

The 26-year-old former Wigan winger won seven caps for England between 2012 and 2014 and played in the 2013 World Cup.

He switched codes after helping Wigan win the 2016 Super League Grand Final but cut short his stay with Sale Sharks after failing to claim a regular place in the side.

Charnley, who has signed a deal with the Wolves to the end of 2020, says the final straw came when he was dropped despite playing a key role in the Sharks’ 13-9 Premiership win over London Irish in Reading in February.

“I wanted to be successful in both codes,” said Charnley, who addressed his first press conference on Tuesday as a Warrington player. “Well I’ve tried it, I gave it a good go for 18 months and it just wasn’t for me.

“I played against London Irish five weeks ago and that was the best game I’ve played in a Sale jersey.

“I got the players’ man of the match, contributed to quite a lot of things and got dropped the week after.

“I haven’t played since then. It was a downer for me.”

Charnley says he rejected offers from three Super League clubs during his time in rugby union, including one from Warrington in November. When they came calling again, he says it was the right time to return.

“Warrington came back and got the ball rolling,” he said. “It happened so quick and now I’m here.

“I enjoyed my time in union, I wouldn’t knock it if anyone wanted to try it. It’s a good culture change.

“It’s taken me out of my comfort zone and now I’m looking forward to getting back.”

Charnley says there was no interest from Wigan in re-signing him and he is getting his head around going up against them.

“I had a phone call off Sarge (Dan Sarginson) yesterday and a text off Liam Farrell so the banter has started again, which I miss,” he said.

“Wigan have got four good wingers and a good academy producing class players.

“Warrington were pushing for me hard and it’s a good club to be at.

“I met all the boys yesterday and today was like my first day at school.”

Charnley says he will be ready to make his Wolves debut against Wakefield on Friday but admits it could be difficult for coach Steve Price to change a winning team.

“I’m fit and I think I’ve slotted in alright today but the lads won at the weekend and you can’t really change a winning team,” he said.

“There’s a busy period coming up to Easter, so I might get a crack then, I’m just happy to be back in rugby league.”

Looking further ahead, Charnley says he would love to be part of Wayne Bennett’s England squad.

“If I get a call off Wayne to say I’ve been added it would be a bonus,” he said.

“My goal is to get picked for England again, there is no better moment than playing for your country, but I just want to do well for Warrington.”