Ratchford insists he’ll literally play anywhere to keep England dream alive

Warrington and England star Stefan Ratchford admits he is delighted to finally win his first cap for his country: but says he will play anywhere on the field to keep his place in the side this weekend.

Ratchford won his international debut during Saturday’s win against France in Avignon, appearing for the first time having been selected in several squads without featuring in the past.

Notorious for playing in a number of positions in both the backline and the pack, Ratchford says that he hopes his utility will count in his favour this weekend: adding that he’ll literally play in any position Wayne Bennett calls on him to.

“I spoke to Kurt Gidley when Wayne got named as coach a few months back and he said to me he played a lot more Australia and State of Origin games because of his versatility,” he said.

“And when I spoke to Wayne he said the same, he knows I can play a variety of positions. On Saturday I came on at full-back, went to right centre and then went to loose forward for the last 10 minutes.

“It’s something I’m happy doing. If I’m involved in the match-day 17 and I’m doing that, it doesn’t bother me one bit. I suppose it will depend on the opposition and what set-up Wayne goes with, whether it’s three forwards and a hooker or two forwards, a hooker and me, I don’t know.

“When he said he was going to play me on Saturday but wasn’t sure for how long, I said: ‘I don’t mind, you can start me at prop if you want. I’ll do anything to be involved’.”

Ratchford was also quick to express his pride having finally won cap number one.

“I loved it,” he said. “I had been waiting for the moment for what seemed like forever.

“The only other game I played was a non-cap game and the 2014 Four Nations was like a six-week training camp for me.

“To get it out of the way is obviously a massive honour. It’s something I’m really proud of and it’s kind of a relief as well and a bit of a weight off my shoulders.

“I’ve got that game out of the way now and I can focus on hopefully building on the amount of caps rather than being frustrated at getting that first one.”