Andy Ackers hopeful of securing England spot for World Cup quarter-finals

ANDY ACKERS is hoping he can secure place in England’s squad for the World Cup quarter-finals after starring in the rout of Greece.

Ackers bagged a brace as England thrashed the Greeks 94-4 in Sheffield.

“It was great, I loved every minute of it,” he said. 

“Every time I get an England shirt I try and work my heart on my sleeve and enjoy every moment of it. It is hard when it’s all one-sided but you just have to get your little bits right, your little one per centers. Just enjoy the win really.”

Ackers played the full match for England at hooker with Michael McIlorum rested.

“I’ve been playing 80 minutes for Salford for the past couple of seasons, it’s kind of the player I’ve been moulded into,” he said. 

“But wherever I play for Shaun I’ll wear my heart on my sleeve obviously. I’m English and I’m proud to be English.”

The Salford forward is competing with McIlorum to be the starting hooker in the World Cup knockout stages.

“I just have to keep training hard and playing as hard as I can,” he admitted. 

“Hopefully I’m in contention for selection. Whatever squad Shaun goes with I’m fully behind and at the end of the day it’s little me, big team. I’m fully confident in anyone who he picks in the team and I’m sure we’ll get the job done.”

England are likely to face Papua New Guinea in the quarter-finals at Wigan.

“They’re playing really well,” Ackers said. 

“We’ll do a review on them and we’ll be training hard this week and hopefully get the job done. 

“Edwin Ipape is playing great, he’s done a good job for Leigh all year. He’s a big threat, he’s a big running threat. He’s strong, he can play long minutes as well so we’ve got to do a good job on him.”