McQueen reveals he wanted to play for England last year before call-up

Gold Coast forward Chris McQueen has revealed he put his hand up for an England call for last year’s Four Nations before eventually earning a shot for this weekend’s Test against Samoa.

The Australian-born forward was a controversial pick in Wayne Bennett’s 20-man squad for the game in Sydney this weekend: he qualifies for the national side via his English father.

And he told the Daily Mirror he had previously wanted to play for England in the past.

He said: “I put my hand up early last year and was hopeful of getting a start in the Four Nations but it didn’t turn out that way. I spoke to Wayne a couple of weeks ago and he asked if I was still interested and I said yeah, absolutely.

“I got the call last Monday just before the squad was announced when he let me know that he was going to pick me. It’s something I’m extremely proud of and have wanted to do for a long time.”

McQueen also said when Bennett approached him this time, it was simply an opportunity he couldn’t turn down.

He said: “It was something that I’ve been thinking about for a long time. I’ve known my whole life that my dad’s English and it’s something that I’ve thought about for a long time. I guess the only reason I didn’t do it sooner was because I still had aspirations of playing Origin.

“But I thought that I probably wouldn’t get the chance to do that again and I couldn’t just sit on my hands and miss an opportunity to represent England and play some international football.”