Leeds Rhino Danny McGuire looking to reclaim England place in World Cup year
Last Updated: January 16, 2013 2:29pm
Danny McGuire: Looking to reclaim a place in the England side
A refreshed Danny McGuire believes a first uninterrupted off season for 12 years could end up helping him reclaim his place in the England side.
The 30-year-old Leeds Rhinos half-back has not represented England since 2009 but is hoping to force his way back into the picture in World Cup year.
McGuire looked on course to feature for Steve McNamara's side during the autumn internationals after an outstanding season for the Rhinos, but asked not to be considered in order to rest up.
He claims the break has helped him not only physically but mentally and will return to action hungrier than ever.
"It was just to refresh myself and I've come back hungrier," he said. "I've done something at the end of the year ever since 2000, whether it's with England Under-21s or Great Britain.
"I think it did me good and hopefully it will stand me in good stead for a big season. It gave me chance to sort out a few niggles and have a break.
"I still have ambitions to get back involved with England. It's all building nicely for the World Cup and I hope we can make it a tournament to remember.
"I think we've got 35 players capable of being involved but hopefully I can put myself in the frame."
McGuire, who played in the last World Cup in 2008, knows he is facing tough competition if he is to reclaim his international jersey.
Leeds team-mate Kevin Sinfield looks to have nailed down the number six spot, although McNamara used Rangi Chase and Richie Myler at scrum-half in the autumn internationals, and Danny Brough, Jonny Lomax and Luke Gale will all be vying with McGuire to provide further competition for the number seven shirt.
If he is to edge ahead of his rivals, McGuire will need another big campaign with the Rhinos - with whom he will start his 13th season this year - and believes the club are well-placed to go on and claim a third straight Super League crown.
"I've signed a new three-year contract and I still feel relatively good," he said. "If I look after myself, there is no reason why I can't go on for a few more years yet. I'm fortunate to be with a good club who look after us."
"I think we're looking very good this year. We've strengthened and the new lads have come in and fitted in really well.
"They've added something to the team and the younger lads are putting pressure on us older guys as well."