Rugby League - Ferres happy not to be on holiday

Brett Ferres is relieved he did not go ahead with plans to book a family holiday in November as he prepares to make his second England appearance on his home ground.

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Rugby League - Ferres happy not to be on holiday

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Brett Ferres in action for Huddersfield, where he will make his second England appearance

The Huddersfield second rower was forced to cancel one holiday earlier this year after he was called into England coach Steve McNamara's squad for the mid-season clash with the Exiles.

Ferres was tempted to take his wife and children away at the end of a long domestic season but held off just in case he got the call for the World Cup, which duly came in time for him to make his England debut in last Saturday's opening match against Australia and he looks certain to keep his spot for Saturday's game with Ireland at the John Smith's Stadium.

"Luckily I didn't book one this time," he said. "I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time this time."

The 27-year-old former Bradford, Wakefield and Castleford player was well down the pecking order at the start of the year, missing out on a place in McNamara's elite training squad, and his World Cup hopes looked to have been dashed when he was left out of the 24-man squad at the start of the month.

But McNamara asked Ferres to go on the training camp in South Africa and act as first reserve in case of injury and, although he did not think twice, he admits it was an awkward situation.

"I wasn't wishing for anybody to get hurt," he said. "We're all striving for the same goal. I was no different, even though I wasn't part of the squad as such.

"It was a difficult one, being so close and yet so far away. I think the ruling has changed and you can change the squad throughout the World Cup.

"I was there as a bit of a safety net and I saw it as an opportunity to remain in the frame and to get some valuable training. It was a bit of perseverance and a case of working hard and keeping my head down and it paid off."

Ferres, who made the 2013 Super League Dream after producing the best rugby of his career in Huddersfield's record-breaking season, kept himself in the frame with an impressive performance for the Knights against Samoa in a curtain-raiser to England's ill-fated friendly with Italy and was officially made a member of the squad when Widnes second rower Gareth Hock was expelled for a series of disciplinary breaches.

The year got even better for Ferres when he was chosen to start the game against the Kangaroos and, after an encouraging debut, is expected to face the Irish in front of a capacity 25,000 crowd at Huddersfield.

"When I looked at the fixtures originally, I sort of eyed this one up and thought 'I wouldn't mind getting in that'," Ferres added."I probably didn't see the Aussie one as a realistic goal at the start.

"I was chuffed to bits when I was chosen. I just tried to get in there and mix it with the big boys. It was about trying to showcase a little bit of what I can do and be solid in the process, not make any big blunders or anything like that and try to do best I could for the team.

"Hopefully, I've done enough to keep my spot. I t would be nice to kick on and get some momentum in the tournament. It's a really competitive squad, though, and I don't think anyone's place is guaranteed."

England are expected to get off the mark against Ireland, who were beaten 32-16 by Fiji in their opening game at Rochdale on Monday but Ferres insists they will not be taking the opposition for granted.

"They're full of good players," he said. "They seemed to play quite expansively against Fiji and throw the ball about.

"Liam Finn has got a very good kicking game which everyone knows about and there's a few big boys up front who like to mix it and match it so will be a real tough test for us."

Ireland have a major doubt over full-back Scott Grix, Ferres' Huddersfield team-mate who came off with a thigh injury on Monday.

"If it's only a dead leg he should be okay," Ferres said. "He's a tough kid and I think he will be alright."

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