Leeds Rhinos and England star Zak Hardaker admits he thought he had blown his chance of playing for England all over again, after his latest ban for his club.
Hardaker left England’s World Cup squad under a dark cloud last year, but has been one of the stars of Super League 2014 with a string of impressive performances.
However, his latest five-match ban for making homophobic comments on the field of play left him fearing his England chance had gone once again.
“Yes. Obviously Steve spoke to me on the Thursday prior to the game on the Friday. Then that came out and on the Monday I was like Jesus what’s happened here – everyone was going mad about it,” he said.
“I didn’t realise how bad it was at the time. Obviously the thought was going through my head then, am I going to get banned, how many games will I miss?
“It was a case of do I get to miss England again or is he going to stick with me? All those things were going through my head. The last week was a bit troublesome, my head was all over the place and I didn’t know what to expect.”