St Helens’ Mark Percival eyes World Cup redemption with England

Mark Percival admits that memories of his 2017 World Cup campaign will help fuel his desire to play in next year’s tournament.

Percival was part of Wayne Bennett’s squad Down Under four years ago but was restricted to just one appearance, scoring in the final group game against France, as the coach Wayne Bennett preferred to use John Bateman at centre.

While Percival insists that another strong season with St Helens remains his primary focus ahead of the new season, he admits that the World Cup is “definitely” a personal target for 2022.

He explained: “In 2017, watching the games I felt like I could have added something.

“I enjoyed being part of the group with the lads, and it was just one of those things where the coach liked me as a person, but as a player he didn’t trust me to play.

“You have to move on and get over it but it was difficult on the sideline because I wanted to challenge myself and that’s something I’m chomping at the bit to do again.

“It’s absolutely about playing for England but I also want to challenge myself against the best players on a world stage.

“Hopefully if I’m selected, I can do that.

“I really wanted to play against France at the end of the season and represent my country, but I had a niggle in my knee that didn’t allow me to play.

“I could have got through the game but it wouldn’t have been the right decision.

“Playing in a World Cup for England is something you always want to do. But there’s a lot in between now and then and I’ve got to play well for my club and keep performing.”

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