Widdop left wanting more

England debutant left hungry for more caps

Last Updated: 13/06/10 2:40pm

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Widdop: Fine debut

Widdop: Fine debut

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Gareth Widdop says debuting for England was the best rugby feeling he has had and he is desperate for more.

The 21-year-old notched the first of 11 tries in the 60-6 rout of France on Saturday before then providing the scoring passes for the next two touchdowns by Tom Briscoe and Sam Tomkins.

His fairytale debut came after just two NRL appearances for Melbourne Storm - where he is understudy to Billy Slater - and he can not wait to play for his country again.

He said: "I enjoyed it. It was obviously a good experience for myself and I hopefully I can get a few more games in the future.

Good start

"It happened so quickly. It was definitely a good start but you've got to look at the whole game. I was happy with the way it went.

"It was the first time we've met so obviously it's only ever going to improve and I'm definitely looking forward to the next few years."

Widdop - whose father Gary, a former professional with Keighley, flew over from Australia to watch the match - rated the experience better than wearing Slater's number one jersey for the first time against Canterbury Bulldogs last month.

"This is the best feeling I've ever had," he said.

"I enjoyed playing against the Bulldogs - that was a massive thrill - but this was one of the biggest highlights of my life. My dad was over the moon."

Burgess happy

Former Bradford forward Sam Burgess, who also made the 12,000-mile journey from Australia along with second-row partner Gareth Ellis, says he would not hesitate to repeat the whistle-stop trip next year and believes a precedent has now been set.

"I felt a little bit tired at times but I love pulling on an England jersey," he said.

"I thoroughly enjoyed the few days in the camp with the boys. It will probably now be the case for years to come for myself and Gareth and other players if they decide to go over there."

England captain Jamie Peacock believes the performance of Widdop, as well as those of Burgess and Ellis, justified the decision to fly them over for the mid-season match.

"Gareth is one of those natural rugby league players," said Peacock. "You could tell he is from a well-coached team. I thought he played exceptionally well to say it's his first game and he's just flown from the other side of the world."

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