Castleford Tigers captain Michael Shenton admits he never gave up on the prospect of returning to the England fold once again, after he was named in Steve McNamara’s 34-man squad which will meet at Loughborough later this month.
Shenton has made eight appearances for his country, last turning out for England in 2010. However, after TotalRL.com readers voted him into the fan-chosen England side earlier this week, he was selected by Steve McNamara once again, and claims coming back to the Tigers has rejuvenated his career.
“I always thought I was young enough to get back into reckoning and have a chance at playing for England again. Coming back here was a reason for that; to become an important player in a team again and that’s why Ian Millward brought me back,” Shenton said.
“I can’t focus on anyone’s game but mine. You’re up against a lot of competition in the centres, and that’s motivation in itself to play well and improve. I’m happy with the recall; it doesn’t mean too much at the minute but going forward it means I’m in Steve Mac’s eyes, which is pleasing.”
Shenton also took time to praise the culture at Cas, after teammates Craig Huby and Daryl Clark were also brought into the squad, and Shenton believes that it proves just how well the Tigers are performing on the field.
“If I would have never got back in then nobody could take away the fact I played for England. The recognition is nice, and it’s great for Castleford to have three players in the squad. It’s brilliantly for the club and is recognition of how well we’re playing as a club and as a group of players.
“Going on tour is massive; it’;s a special occasion that doesn’t happen many times in a player’s career. However there’s quite a way to go in the season yet, and form can dip and rise, so I’ve got to keep on top of my game.”
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