Warrington forward Ben Currie says he is prepared to play anywhere on the pitch in order to play for England at the World Cup.
The 23-year-old Warrington second rower, who was a surprise call-up for the World Cup after an injury-ravaged domestic season, got to wear the England shirt for the first time in Friday’s friendly against a Combined Affiliated States team in Perth.
Currie started the game against the Australian part-timers but not in his usual spot in the pack after coach Wayne Bennett opted to go physical in the threequarter line.
Although neither man got among the 13 tries, both looked comfortable in the threequarter line, providing a reminder of valuable time spent there for their clubs.
Bateman, a frequent centre in his Bradford days, made his England debut in the position against France in 2015 and stayed there throughout the three-match Test series against New Zealand.
Currie, too, has moved between the two positions for the Wolves and actually played stand-off for Ireland against England in the 2013 World Cup.
Last year Leeds forward Stevie Ward founded the website Mantality – an online magazine which encourages men to talk about mental health
“I’ve played centre plenty of times throughout my career at Warrington,” he said. “I’m very happy to play any position Wayne Bennett wants me to play.
“Just to get my England debut, I’ll play prop, wing or off the bench, I’ll do anything. I’m versatile and can fill a few positions which I feel will help me.”
If he gets the call to face the Kangaroos in Melbourne next Friday, it will help remove the disappointment Currie felt when he missed out on both that 2015 series against the Kiwis and last year’s Four Nations Series.
Currie was nursing a knee injury 12 months ago but he was a fit, non-playing member of Steve McNamara’s squad in 2015.
“I was gutted,” he recalled. “I don’t want to do that again, just be there to train, I want to take part and hopefully be part of bringing the cup home.”