THE BEST season of his career so far has now finished, but Wakefield Trinity ace Reece Lyne reckons the final few weeks of it will make him even better next year.
Lyne made his England debut in October’s win over France and was a member of coach Wayne Bennett’s squad for the subsequent three-Test series against New Zealand.
Though he did not make an appearance, he believes a month spent training with the country’s best players has brought his own game to a new level – and that will only benefit Trinity next year as they battle for a place in the Betfred Super League play-offs.
Lyne is now on his brief off-season break, but reflecting on his time with England he said: “Obviously it was a bit frustrating not to play, but it has been a really good experience.
“The time in camp has been a really good learning curve and I’ve learned a great deal off the boys and Wayne.
“His experience speaks for itself so it has been great being in and around it and seeing what it takes to get to that next level.”
An increased emphasis is being placed on international rugby league with Great Britain set to tour the southern hemisphere next year and a World Cup, in England, looming in 2021.
At just 25, Hull-born Lyne is among a generation England’s management believe are gearing up to end five decades of playing second fiddle to Australia on the the biggest stage.
“It’s something to aim for,” Lyne said.
“There’s an opportunity for the World Cup in a couple of years and potentially a tour next year. It has probably made me more hungry really.
“I have had a taste and I want more of it so I am looking for a big year next year with Wakefield.
“This has probably been my best season up to date so I am looking to kick on next year and make sure I have another one.”
Lyne reckons there is “definitely” a lot more improvement in him.
“I’ve picked up a lot from the last few weeks [with England] that I feel I can take into my game, especially with preparation and a lot of mindset stuff,” he said.
“Hopefully it all points to a big year next year.”
Trinity began pre-season training on Monday last week, the day after Lyne’s campaign ended.
He admitted: “It has been a long year.
“From pre-season last year it has been something like 13 months so I’ve been looking forward to a nice break.
“I’ll get away with my partner and baby and then I’m back training with Wakefield on December 10.
“I’ll be ticking over in the meantime, keeping in shape ready to get back and hit the ground running.”
After two successive fifth-place finishes Trinity will be aiming to go at least one better in 2019.
Top-five play-offs are being reintroduced and Lyne said: “I’ve been really impressed with the signings we’ve made.
“I think we’ve got a really strong squad and I think, from our point of view, if we’re not making those play-offs it will be a disappointing season.
“We’re looking for a big year next year and hopefully a place in the play-offs.”