Harry Newman: England Knights call was great but the hard graft continues

Leeds Rhinos and Jamaica's Ashton Golding.
Leeds Rhinos and Jamaica's Ashton Golding.
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One of my goals at the beginning of the season was to make the England Knights squad by the end of the year, so I’m really pleased to be included.

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Mikolaj Oledzki.

Mikolaj Oledzki.

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Getting in the squad is a reward for the hard work and graft I have put in this season, but being in the team for the game against Jamaica this year is not a given.

I have still got to work hard to earn my place in the side. I am only 19, it is a 37-man squad and there’s some very good players in there, but I am aiming now to kick on again and make the 2021 World Cup squad. That’s the big target for me.

It is two years away and I just want to build on what I have started this season, finish strongly and then, next year, go again and aim for the full England team.

The World Cup is being held in England and it would be great to be part of that.

I played in the England academy side that beat Australia last year, along with Oliver Wilson who has also been named in the Knights squad.

It just shows if you work hard and you are willing to make sacrifices you will get rewarded in the end, but it is just another step towards the end goal.

I know I have got a lot of hard work to do, but I am looking forward to it and it would be good to play against Jamaica, especially with the game being at Headingley.

They are preparing for the World Cup and will have a good side.

Ashton Golding plays for them and you know what you are going to get with Ashton – 100 per cent every day.

They have got other quality players as well, pacy outside-backs and it will be a good challenge.

I am looking forward to meeting all the Knights lads and hopefully getting in the side for the Jamaica game, but I’ve got to play well for Leeds to make that happen.

Last week against Hull KR was disappointing for everyone, because we seemed to be hitting some form before that. We have regrouped this week and spoken about what we need to improve and we’re really looking forward to Sunday and getting back on track.

Hull FC have been really good this year, they are third in the league so it will be a tough game, but we can’t wait to get out there and fix things up from last week.

A big point for us this week has been focusing on ourselves and doing the things we can control. We know the areas we need to get better at and we have made massive improvements in them.

Last week was a bit of a dip, but we’ve been working hard to put things right and, come Sunday, we will be good to go.

Hopefully there’ll be another big crowd.

It has been a tough year for our fans, but they have been great this season.

Seeing Leeds be successful for so long, there’s been a couple of years when we have struggled a bit, but we are starting to see something building.

Look at our squad and we probably have the best crop of young lads coming through.

Eight of us were in the academy side that beat Australia.

The likes of Jack Walker, Mik Oledzki and Cam Smith are all 18, 19 or 20 and with some experienced players around us we can kick on and get this club back to where it deserves to be.