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England V Samoa

Jermaine McGillvary knows that World Cup selection is on the line when England go up against Samoa in Saturday’s Pacific Test.

Jermaine McGillvary knows he needs to be at the top of his game next Saturday, when England take on Samoa in the Pacific Test match.
McGillvary England
The match is one of England’s final preparation games ahead of this year’s World Cup in Australia and the winger wants to show coach Wayne Bennett that he deserves his place in the squad this autumn.

Since impressing in England’s decisive win over New Zealand in 2015’s Test series, McGillvary has been an ever-present for the Wall of White, but he knows he needs to continue to perform as he aims to be involved in a World Cup for the first time in his career.

“A lot of us need to perform in this game to try and tick a box to Wayne to get in the World Cup squad, because nothing is guaranteed,” said the Huddersfield Giants man.

“For a lot of us, it could be the last chance we get to play in a World Cup. I’m coming up to 29 years-old and there are a lot of others around my age or a bit older.

“I’m not saying they won’t play for England again, but to play in the World Cup again in 2021 is very doubtful with their ages and the quality of younger players coming through.

“I always believe in myself but different people have different opinions. Since 2015 I’ve been on that right wing for England and I’m proud of it.

“It is very rare you can put on that England shirt and to say I’ve only pulled it on six times since 2015, compared to your club where you play 200 or 300 times.”

Physicality is a phrase that is constantly mentioned when players are asked to describe what they are expecting the Samoa side to bring on Saturday, and McGillvary is certain that will be the case.

And the winger, who has scored four tries in five appearances for England, thinks it will be important for him and his fellow England backs to put in a strong and error-free shift, to relieve the pressure further up the field.

He said: “Samoa are big right across the field, I don’t think it’s just across the forwards, I think it’s going to be physical everywhere.

“I need to just do my job; catch the ball on the full, make my tackles and work hard. That takes the workload off the forwards up the field so they’ve got enough energy to keep the Samoans in their back field.

“We’ve got enough quality in this team to get the win, as long as everybody does their job.

“The International game is a lot different to Super League – you get a lot more time and space in Super League but in international, there isn’t that time.

“It’s more like a game of chess really; you need to be in the right positions and get the right carries on the right part of the field.”

England take on Samoa on May 6 at the Campbelltown Sports Stadium, Sydney and fans can watch the game via an exclusive live stream for the early bird price of just £3.49 – sign up here.

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