Leeds Rhinos’ Danny McGuire hopes his fruitful half-back partnership with Kevin Sinfield at club level can be replicated in England colours for the 2013 World Cup.
Although McGuire started out his glittering career at Headingley as a stand-off he has evolved into a No7 recently to help facilitate his captain’s move from loose-forward and Rob Burrow’s switch to hooker.
Leeds have won the last two Super League Grand Finals with that duo pulling the strings from the creative hub and it would be easy to see why England boss McNamara might try and unite them for their country.
“Me and Kev have played six and seven for a while now and we’re working really well together,” admitted McGuire.
“You’d hope if those combinations work at club level that they could work elsewhere too. I think it gives me a decent chance of maybe getting in there (at the World Cup) but it has to be on form.
“I need to be on form and in the team at the end of next year, playing well for Leeds firstly. I’m excited about it, though, and looking forward to a World Cup here on home soil.”
McGuire, 30, opted out of the autumn internationals to give himself a full break after a domestic campaign that had been splintered by injuries.
Warrington Wolves’ Richie Myler and Castleford Tigers’ Rangi Chase each used the opportunity to press their claims for the scrum-half role, both getting game-time alongside England captain Sinfield in the tournament that featured Wales and France.
McNamara also has Melbourne Storm’s NRL Grand Final winning half-back Gareth Widdop to call upon in 2013 while Huddersfield Giants skipper Danny Brough and St Helens’ Jonny Lomax are both in the England elite training squad so competition is fierce.
McGuire has been in the ETS himself for the last two years but has not actually played for his country since being hauled off by Tony Smith against Australia in 2009.
“We’ve probably got 25 or 30 players who feel they can start in that starting 13,” said McGuire, who played three times in the 2008 World Cup.
“You need competition for places and you don’t want 13 players settled in possession of a shirt.
“You need everyone having to compete for a place and that will be the case next season.
“I’ve still got that desire to play and represent my country.
“I didn’t play this year but I’d like to think I’d be able to work my way in there on form.
“We’ll have to see how it goes. I’ve found a bit of form this season with Leeds and hopefully I can have another consistent one in 2013.”
lWakefield have completed the signing of scrum-half Bobbie Goulding Jnr on a one-year deal.
The son of the ex-Leeds, Wigan, Wakefield and Great Britain No7 by the same name, Goulding joins after impressing on trial.
He was a key member of Warrington Wolves’ Under 20s Grand Final winning side last term.