RUGBY : Hull KR winger Peter Fox has England’s backroom staff to thank for his recall to the national side for Saturday’s crucial Gillette Four Nations clash with New Zealand.
Hull KR winger Peter Fox has England’s backroom staff to thank for his recall to the national side for Saturday’s crucial Gillette Four Nations clash with New Zealand.
Fox was said to be “shattered” when he lost his place for the opening Four Nations game against France to late call-up Tom Briscoe. But the former Leeds and Wakefield flier was comforted by assistant coach Steve McNamara and former Great Britain full-back Kris Radlinski and, after knuckling down in training, has been rewarded with a place in the side to face the Kiwis.
“It was good they were there,” said Fox. “They took me to one side and helped me through it. They just told me how to be after the disappointment – to be positive and help the team – and I took their advice.”
He added: “Tony picks what he thinks is the best team and the players have got to respond to that.
“If you are picked you have to perform on the day, if not you’ve got to keep your head up and help the other lads.”
Fox, who received news of his recall on his 25th birthday, wins his place back at the expense of Briscoe as coach Tony Smith breaks up the right-sided defence that was sliced open all too easily by Australia in the first half at Wigan last Saturday.
Fox’s centre partner will be Warrington’s Chris Bridge, who takes over from the Wasps-bound Lee Smith, while St Helens utility player Kyle Eastmond will start his first match for England at half-back in place of the axed Danny McGuire.
Smith has opted for four forwards on the bench, with Jon Wilkin called up for his first match since the World Cup.
“He’s always full of energy and I think he’ll bring that to us from the bench,” explained Smith.
“He’s got some ball-playing ability as well and we want to add that to the team. We want to play to our strengths.”