Stevie Ward eyes up World Cup with either England or Wales

Leeds Rhinos forward Stevie Ward has revealed he is determined to play for England at this year’s World Cup – but he is also eligible to feature for Wales.

Ward was a surprise inclusion in Wayne Bennett’s squad for the Four Nations – however, he did not feature in a game, and also missed out on selection for the Test against Samoa next month in Sydney.

The Leeds forward is still targeting forcing his way into Bennett’s plans – but says he could yet explore the possibility of a call-up for John Kear’s Wales side.

“I want to be playing in Australia at the end of the year,” he said.

“My mother’s Welsh – she’s from Wrexham – and that’s something that can always be looked at but the optimum thing for me is to be there with England and playing to the best of my ability.”

Ward also said that he is not overly concerned with missing out on selection for the Samoa game – as he targets a strong second half of the season with the Rhinos following a period out injured.

He said: “I’d have fancied my chances this time a bit more if I had been fit coming up to that game (against Samoa) but I do know that decisions are made a lot later in the year for what’s going to go on.

“The only thing I can do is play well for Leeds and, if I’m in their plans at the end of the year, then brilliant.”