Liam Farrell has revealed he made himself unavailable for England selection due to injury.
But the Wigan forward admits he hadn’t been too hopeful of a World Cup call-up before ruling himself out.
Rather than wait to discover if he would make Wayne Bennett’s panel, he withdrew from the reckoning a week earlier to nurse a hip problem.
And he hopes the rest, rehab and full pre-season with his club will help him reach higher levels next season and ultimately force his way back into the national side.
Farrell, a member of the England elite performance squad, said: “I’ve played with a hip injury for a while and I thought, with me being down the pecking order for back-row spots, now was a good time to get it sorted.
“I thought rather than wait and see if I was included, I’d make the decision.
“I think not playing some more games will do me good. It’s a wear and tear injury - you can have surgery on it, but I’m hoping managing it and a lot of rehab will sort it out.”
Farrell has been a part of every autumn series with England since the 2013 World Cup.
A regular under Steve McNamara, he slipped down the pecking order under successor Wayne Bennett and figured just once in last year’s Four Nations, against Scotland.
In May, he was overlooked for the Test against Samoa as Bennett opted for two Australian-born forwards instead.
Farrell says he will be cheering on his England team-mates.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” said the 27-year-old. “With the set-up they have and the squad they have, they’re capable of getting to the final and winning it and I’m hoping they do really well.”
Farrell has taken a holiday with his young family and is now back in training ahead of the start of pre-season next month.
“It’s the first time in a few years I’ve been in from the start and I think I’ll really feel the benefit,” he added.