Hull FC and England forward Scott Taylor has insisted that nothing less than victory is what England should be aiming for in this year’s Four Nations – saying it is crucial Wayne Bennett’s side chalk up major success on home soil ahead of next year’s World Cup.
Taylor is one of a handful of players in the 24-man squad who could make their first competitive international appearance this weekend, when England travel to France in Avignon.
But looking beyond this Saturday’s Test match, Taylor believes that such a successful and exciting squad should undoubtedly be targeting lifting the Four Nations trophy in their own country.
“I think it’s really important,” he said.
“It’s the first time I’ve been picked in the squad but if you look at it we’ve got people like myself, and Luke Gale who might have the chance to play for the first time, and top senior players in James Graham and Sam Burgess.
“We’ve got a real good balance and it’s exciting times. We’ve got a chance this year to go and make a mark. I think nothing but winning it would be acceptable for us.
“We’ve just got to take it game by game. France will be a good stepping stone for us, we’ll have a real good camp in Leeds and then we’ll go into the Kiwis game with all the English fans behind us and there’s no reason we can’t get the job done.”
Taylor also admits that if he is picked to play on Saturday – which is widely expected – it would be one of the highlights of his career.
“If I get told I’m playing it would mean everything,” he said. “As a rugby league fan growing up as a young lad, I saw Great Britain against the Kiwis at the KC Stadium a few times, and went to Huddersfield to watch them play there. It’s something you never thought you’d do if you’re serious, but everything’s working out well for me.
“I’m just going to keep giving it everything I can – since I’ve come to training I’ve been giving it everything I can to prove what quality I’ve got. Whether I get one minute or 40 against France then there’ll be no prouder man out there – I’ll give it everything I’ve got.
“It’s exciting, the Four Nations – they’re world class players and I’ve seen them play week in, week out so to get the chance to take the field against them would be unbelievable. I got a taste a couple of years ago in the World Club Challenge for Wigan playing in Sydney against Sonny Bill and some top, top players. The level was unbelievable, and that’s the standard I wanted to test myself against. I’m just really excited – I’m buzzing for it.”