Scotland and St George star Euan Aitken believes that England will be a much better side if they pick his Dragons team-mate Gareth Widdop for Sunday’s must-win game against Australia.
Widdop was left out for the win over Scotland, with Wayne Bennett instead opting for a third consecutive different half-back pairing, this time with George Williams and Luke Gale getting the nod.
However, Widdop is likely to come back into contention for the game against the Kangaroos – and Aitken told NRL.com that England’s chances of reaching the final – which depend on victory in London on Sunday – will be enhanced with Widdop in the side.
“I was surprised that Gareth didn’t actually play in our game, but he is definitely a quality player and has been one of the Dragons’ best over the last couple of years,” Aitken, who played for Scotland in Coventry, said.
“He has been leading from the front at club level, but I am not sure what is going on there with selections.
“England are definitely better if he gets picked. He has got a lot of experience there and has played for England in the last couple of years and plays in the hardest competition in the world which is the NRL.
“He is a quality player and he has proven that time and time again, I think he is best for England in that starting spot.”