Leeds Rhinos winger Tom Briscoe has admitted he is intent on proving he is capable of a return to the international arena with England in 2017.
Briscoe has played 15 times for England but has not featured for the national side since the 2013 World Cup, having struggled with injuries in recent years, including last season as the Rhinos found the going tough in 2016.
But Briscoe is eyeing a return to top form in 2017 for both himself and the Rhinos, which he hopes will play him into the thoughts of England coach Wayne Bennett.
“I can’t lie, I have given thought to England and thought about the fact that it is a World Cup year,” Briscoe told League Express.
“I guess it’s up to me to prove my fitness and prove that I can still play at the very highest level.
“For the last couple of years I haven’t quite made it due to injury and things like that, but if my club form is on from the start I know I’ll give myself the best possible chance of making it. There’s a mid-season Test as well as a World Cup, so there’s plenty to challenge for.”
Briscoe also admits that having pulled on an England shirt in the past, he has more will to reach the highest level again.
He said: “Having tasted it in the past makes you all the more determined to do it again and I believe I can prove I’m good enough once again.
“It’s something I was very proud to do in the past, but it makes me more determined to force my way back into the mix.”
Briscoe also admitted that he believes Leeds will be stronger after having gone a full year without the experience of the key players who left at the end of the 2015 season.
The likes of Kevin Sinfield, Jamie Peacock, Kylie Leuluai and Paul Aiton proved tough to replace in 2016, but Briscoe believes Leeds have learned some lessons ahead of 2017.
“I think we can definitely challenge in 2017,” he said.
“Don’t forget, we’ve got a good squad here; we won the treble albeit with three key players who aren’t here any more.
“We’re getting more and more used to playing without them now. It was a key factor that we lost so much experience in one season with JP, Kevin and Kylie as well as Paul Aiton. That was some big experience and talent sucked out of the team and now we’ve had a year to experience life without them we can start to forge our own paths.”