Wales 12 England 80: It’s a debut I’ll never forget, admits Hardaker

Wales 12 England 80: Zak Hardaker admits scoring two tries on his debut was a special experience to book their place in the final

By Nathan Lawrenson

Zak Hardaker admitted scoring two tries on his England debut was a special experience after England demolished Wales by 80-12.

The 21 year-old Leeds star, who has progressed from the England Knights system, didn’t look out of place when filling in at full-back for Wigan star, Sam Tomkins.

“It was a great team performance,” he said. “It’s been a difficult couple of weeks: we’ve been in South Africa which brought about some difficult training but it’s all paid off today.

“It’s always good to get a try or two in an international and it’s made my debut even more special. To grab one is good but to grab two will make it a debut I’ll never forget.

“Wales were tough for the first ten to fifteen minutes but it’s always going to be tough at internationals. It’s onwards and upwards from here.”

England manager Steve McNamara will face a dilemma next week when Tomkins is again for selection, but Hardaker believes he has done all he can to impress.

“You’ve just got to do what you can,” he added. “You get given the chances so I just did the best I could and we’ll see what happens next week.

“If he picks him he picks him. I played my game today and enjoyed myself.

“You can’t go wrong if you are taken over by the Man of Steel; he’s been the best player throughout the year.

“I’ve not got a fixed position, I’ll play anywhere. I’d be happy to be on the subs bench, to play for your country is a massive honour.

“I’m just enjoying the ride that I’m on at the minute, being involved in internationals is just a bonus. We’ve got a couple of big weeks coming up and then it’s back on the horse for Leeds.”


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