Percival for England, says Keiron Cunningham

St Helens coach Keiron Cunningham admits he’s astounded that centre Mark Percival didn’t get a call into England’s squad for the Test series against New Zealand last year.

Percival enjoyed a fine year with the Saints, and established himself as one of the in-form English backs in the country with some sensational performances in 2015.

But after failing to make the cut for Steve McNamara’s squad, Cunningham admitted he was astounded the youngster wasn’t included – and has backed him for a huge year in 2016.

“I thought Percy might have got a call-up for the end of season Test series last year,” Cunningham told the St Helens Reporter.

“I could believe they didn’t give Percy a crack, or at least put him in the squad.”

Cunningham added: “Like all great players he sometimes doesn’t realise how good he is.

“Often is play is instinctive – and at times he probably doesn’t know what he has done – but he certainly possesses a good awareness of space.

“He has trained the house down in pre-season and is now bigger, stronger and quicker and I definitely think this is going to be a big year for him.”