England coach Steve McNamara has promised “an open selection policy” for his Rugby League World Cup squad ahead of the start of Super League XVIII.
The former Bradford Bulls boss will lead his England side into their biggest test when the World Cup kicks-off on home soil in October - just weeks after the end of the Super League campaign.
And McNamara has thrown down the gauntlet to all English players, including those at Wakefield Wildcats, to impress throughout 2013 and give him a welcome selection headache for his squad.
“The next 10 months are going to be fantastic as we embark on what I believe is the biggest Super League season in living memory,” said McNamara.
“Every English player who has ambitions of playing in the Rugby League World Cup now has the chance to prove himself in what will be the most intense Super League competition we have seen.
“It is a new campaign where every game will matter. Established players that have been part of the England group since it was created three years ago will want to continue to set the standards and the young talent coming through can also push to be in the squad that will bid to make history this autumn.
“It’s an open selection policy: we are committed to selecting the best players and I hope to see every player produce his best throughout every round of Super League and all the way to the 2013 Grand Final.”
Wakefield captain Danny Kirmond’s name was linked with a call-up to the England set-up last season and Wildcats’ other English players, including former England stars Lee Smith and Peter Fox, will be alerted to McNamara’s selection policy.
To be in with a shout they will need to impress throughout 2013, starting with Wakefield’s Super League opener against Bradford Bulls at the Provident Stadium on Sunday (kick-off 3pm).