Widdop not moved by Bennett’s recruitment drive

St George and England half-back Gareth Widdop has insisted that he’s open to Wayne Bennett’s reported attempts to lure a number of NRL players into an England shirt for the end-of-season Four Nations tournament.

Bennett has attracted criticism in recent weeks after reports emerged suggesting he had spoken to players like Josh and Brett Morris, as well as Newcastle’s Trent Hodkinson, about a potential call-up to the national side later this year.

But Widdop, who has been a feature of the national side in recent years during Steve McNamara’s tenure, told AAP that he’ll support whichever direction Bennett goes in for the good of the England group.

“I heard about it yesterday and had a bit of a laugh about it, whatever happens, happens,” he said.

“It is up to them to make a decision and what ever decision they do make we as a team will go with that.”

Widdop also said he’s delighted to see England team-mate Zak Hardaker make the move to the NRL with new side Penrith.

“It is great to see Zak out here,” Widdop said.

“He has been tremendous over there in England. He has won all the awards, he is a good player and he wanted to come out and test himself and now has the perfect opportunity to to do that.

“It is good to see another Englishman out here.”