IT may have been his daughter’s birthday on Sunday, but it didn’t stop Wolves star Stefan Ratchford nervously waiting by the phone.

As youngest daughter Esme celebrated her second birthday, her father was a little distracted by potential news of an England call-up for the World Cup.

The full-back reveals just how nervy his day got.

“We were just having some family and friends round with a bouncy castle and things like that,” he said.

“I thought if the call came in the morning then I could crack on with that and enjoy the afternoon.

“It got to half past 11 and I’d still heard nothing, then Hilly (Chris Hill) came round at about 12 and said ‘has Jamie Peacock lost your number as well?’”

“The call eventually came a bit later, so it had been a bit of a nervous wait!

“You still get that buzz when the phone call comes, but to be involved in a World Cup is just a different level.”

Ratchford is one of four Wolves players in Wayne Bennett’s squad, with skipper Hill, Ben Currie and Kevin Brown also involved.

Hill, who makes a World Cup squad for the second time, says this year’s group could be on the verge of something special.

“It’s a massive buzz. World Cups Down Under don’t come around very often,” he said.

“This year more than ever, I wanted to be part of it because I think we’ve got a really special group.

“I’m honoured to be chosen and I can’t wait to get there.”

Brown added: “It’s an absolute honour, there’s no bigger one than representing your country and your family.

“At my age, I know I’m not going to be around for the next World Cup.

“I’ve done a couple of Four Nations and mid-season Tests but this is the biggest tournament I’ve ever been involved in.

“It’s even better that it’s over there. It’s what everyone dreams of as a kid.”