Wigan Warriors' George Williams is "as good as anybody that plays the game", says Wayne Bennett
Wayne Bennett has given George Williams the ultimate accolade by declaring he is "as good as anybody that plays the game" on his day.
The Wigan stand-off started all three Tests in last autumn's series win against New Zealand, having previously had a bit-part role under the England coach.
And Bennett, 69, hailed Warriors' marquee man - bound for Canberra in 2020 - as one of the game's best players.
"I thought George Williams’ performances against New Zealand last year were outstanding," said Bennett, who will lead the revived Great Britain side's tour Down Under.
"We needed to see that from him and he did stand up for us.
"When he’s at his best George is as good as anybody that plays the game. He’s got a wonderful skill-set and understanding of the game."
While Williams may face more competition for a halfback spot after Wayne Bennett left the door open for overseas-born stars Blake Austin and Jackson Hastings to be included, Bennett is certainly a fan of what he can offer.
"Gareth Widdop’s there and I love picking Jonny Lomax in the team because of what he brings and he can play so many positions. He’s a good footballer," said Bennett, who met with his elite training squad on Monday evenings
"A few areas we’ve been light in are starting to fill up a bit as well, mainly our backs more than our forwards.
"We’ve certainly got a world class pack, no doubt about that. There’s a lot of backs coming through and if we can build on that and make sure we’ve got the strike power."
John Bateman, James Graham and the Burgess brothers play in the NRL, and another has muscled his way into the reckoning - ex-Warriors prop Ryan Sutton, who has impressed at Canberra.
"We've played against them a couple of times this year and he's been getting a lot of good reviews," Bennett said.
"If he was still here [in England] we wouldn't have seen the potential he has got. It just challenges them over there because the competition is so hard. He's risen to the occasion."