ENGLAND captain Kevin Sinfield has backed Warrington Wolves’ Richie Myler to be his half-back partner at the World Cup.
The 32-year-old Leeds Rhinos legend has played alongside Myler in both of England’s comfortable Autumn International Series victories against Wales and France, and with the pair expected to retain their places for the showdown against France on Sunday, the six-time Grand Final winner sees a bright future for their partnership as the countdown to 2013’s World Cup continues.
“If you were to say to me before the World Cup next year that we would be the starting half backs I would be chuffed to bits by that,” said Sinfield, who was given the England captaincy by coach Steve McNamara after leading his Rhinos side to an unprecedented fifth Super League title in six years.
“We believe in similar things around getting the team in order and I think the partnership has worked pretty well.
“I have really enjoyed working with Richie, as I have a number of half backs, but what I think Richie has done is push his way back into the side and made people aware of him again and that is very important with a World Cup coming.”
Myler faces plenty of competition to fill the place alongside England’s new skipper in just under 12 months’ time, with Rangi Chase, Danny Brough, Gareth Widdop, Rob Burrow, Danny McGuire and Jonny Lomax all jostling for a place on McNamara’s World Cup team sheet.
The former Salford playmaker impressed in a more prominent role against the French at Craven Park at the weekend.
And Wolves’ 22-year-old scrum half is just as keen to play alongside Sinfield when England begin their World Cup campaign against Australia on October 26, 2013, but knows through painful experience that a lot can change in the space of a Super League season.
“There are a lot of games between now and the World Cup,” said Myler, who missed weeks of this year’s Super League season with injuries to his elbow and abdomen.
“It will be in the back of everyone’s mind, as it would be a great honour, but there are so many things to come between now and then that you just have to put that to the back of your mind.
“But Kevin is a great player and whenever you play with great players it makes your job easier.
“He has a great kicking game and he is leading well from the front as captain, which is a role he is very proud of and lives up to brilliantly.
“I’m enjoying playing with him, but more importantly I am enjoying playing for England, which is the most important thing.”