WAKEFIELD TRINITY centre Reece Lyne was expecting a call from a member of the England backroom staff this week, but had a shock when it came.
Rather than Knights boss Paul Anderson advising him to pack his bags for a trip to Papua New Guinea, it was England manager Jamie Peacock telling him he had been drafted into the senior squad.
Lyne and club-mate Tom Johnstone are among the uncapped players in contention to face France at Leigh on October 16 and New Zealand in a three-Test series beginning two weeks later.
The first Test against New Zealand is being played in Lyne’s home city of Hull and the second is at Anfield, which is extra incentive for the die-hard Liverpool FC fan.
“It was overwhelming really, it took me by surprise, but I was over the moon,” Lyne said of his call-up.
“I am still pinching myself now. There’s a lot of good English centres in the game and in the squad. To get the recognition and be involved in the squad is amazing.”
Lyne, 25, began his career at Hull before moving to Trinity ahead of the 2013 season. He recalled: “When I moved here from Hull FC I was only 19. I came here to get some regular first team and try and establish myself as a first-team player.
“Richard Agar was here as well who did a lot for me and gave me my start at Hull FC. Sometimes in life you have to take a step back to take two forward and that’s exactly what I thought.
“I thought moving away from Hull and growing up a bit, living on my own over here, was the right thing to do and the right time.”
This year has been the best of Lyne’s career and he reckons he has benefited from being settled on and off the pitch.
“I just think I’ve been happy off the field,” he said. “My partner’s played a big part in that, she’s been really good. The group we’ve got at the club is a really special group.
“We enjoy coming to training every day and the style of rugby we are playing has given us that freedom to express ourselves.”
Lyne feels working with England boss Wayne Bennett could take him to a new level. He added: “That’s another exciting thing, a world-class coach who’s been there and done it all.
“To learn from him and be around and pick things up from established players is really exciting.”