2013 Rugby League World Cup: Zak Hardaker wants the England full-back spot

Last Updated: 16/06/13 2:26pm

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Too strong: Exile's Joel Monaghan fails to stop England's Zak Hardaker from scoring the opening try at the Halliwell Jones Stadium

Too strong: Exile's Joel Monaghan fails to stop England's Zak Hardaker from scoring the opening try at the Halliwell Jones Stadium

Sky Bet

Leeds Rhino ace Zak Hardaker has his eyes on the England full-back spot ahead of the World Cup.

The former Featherstone player produced an accomplished display filling in at centre for injured Rhinos team-mate Kallum Watkins in England's 30-10 win over the Exiles at Warrington on Friday night.

Despite opening the scoring with the first of England's five tries, he now sees his future at both club and international level at full-back, although Man of Steel Sam Tomkins stands in his way for the position in Steve McNamara's side.

Hardaker, who will revert to full-back for his club in Monday night's re-arranged Super League game with Widnes, said: "I'll fight for full-back (with England).

"If I get picked in the squad, then I'm a squad player so, if the centre or wing spot needs to be filled because of injuries, then I'm happy to do that.

"But full-back is the position I'm playing at the moment and I'll hopefully do that."

Positives

The win over the Exiles was England's last competitive outing before the World Cup opener with Australia in Cardiff on October 26, although they are lining up a warm-up game a week earlier, and Hardaker insisted there were plenty of positives from the hit-out.

"Our first half was really good," he added. "We went into the second half wanting to nil them but a few lapses in defence cost us a few tries.

"But a win's a win and to put so many points on the board is very pleasing.

"It's been a brilliant week, a stepping stone towards the World Cup at the end of the year."

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