George Williams showed how good he can really be on the world stage, according to England captain Sam Tomkins.
The halfback has had a torrid season with a Warrington Wolves side who finished eleventh in the Super League table in 2022, their first campaign under coach Daryl Powell.
But his international boss Shaun Wane kept faith with Williams, who he coached at Wigan Warriors.
He played in the mid-season international against the Combined Nations and was made captain for the first time in England’s World Cup warm-up against Fiji.
Williams then played a central role in England’s rout of Samoa in the opening match of the World Cup at Newcastle on Saturday, scoring one try and helping to create several others while also impressing with his organisation.
It was a far cry from his performance for much of the year at the Halliwell Jones Stadium but Wane said Williams’ selection was “never in doubt” in his mind.
“I know what he can do. I’ve known him since he was a kid. I knew George would be fine,” said Wane.
Tomkins said: “For me, George Williams was outstanding today.
“A lot of the good things is stuff other people might not notice, like the talk on the field.
“I’m George’s biggest fan; I think he’s brilliant when he’s on.
“He’s had a tough season with Warrington and this was the opportunity for George to come and show exactly how good he is.
“I believe he is the best halfback in that competition. He went a long way to show it (against Samoa).”
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