Victor Radley admits it will be personal when he runs out for England in his father’s home city of Sheffield on Saturday.
The 24-year-old Sydney Roosters forward will win his third cap and maintain his ever-present record in the delayed 2021 World Cup in the final Group A match against Greece at Bramall Lane.
His father Nigel flew in from Sydney on Friday morning with one of his three brothers, Harry, especially for the game and Victor is not hiding from the enormity of the occasion.
“It is personal for me, and special,” Radley said.
“It’s something I’m really looking forward to. When I chose to play for England, I looked forward to this Sheffield game and playing in front of my old man.
“Now it’s here, it’s a big occasion for the family but I’m going out to do my part for the team. I’m sure after the game I’ll see everyone and have about 20 pints.”
Victor Radley: I’ve got so many memories
The Sydney-born Radley, who represented the Junior Kangaroos, gave up the chance to play State of Origin after putting his hand up to play for England and is determined to do his father proud.
Nigel emigrated to Australia in the 1980s but remains a fiercely passionate Yorkshireman and still supports Sheffield Wednesday.
“He’s from Hoyland which I think is near Barnsley,” Victor said. “It’s sort of in between Sheffield and Barnsley, about 20 minutes away.
“When I first got here I stayed here for a few days, we went to the Hare and Hounds in Hoyland for a feed.
“When I was younger, I remember when I drove past Hillsborough. I’ve got so many memories. I haven’t been there this trip though and I’m not sure if it’ll fit in my schedule or not.”
After playing long minutes in the first two games, Radley admits the thought of being rested for the Greece game crossed his mind but hoped sentiment might play a part after speaking to coach Shaun Wane.
“I spoke to Waney and mentioned it to him after the Samoa game and I said I’d be happy to do whatever the team needs me to do,” he said. “But I’ve got like 60 people coming from all over the world for this game to Sheffield.
“At the same time, my dad would have seen me play next week anyway so it makes no difference. But Waney has been really good and he said he wouldn’t do that to me, so he’s got me playing this week.
“I want to play every game for England.”
Radley has been visiting the roots of his late coalmining grandfather Derrick and admits he may struggle to hold back the tears on the day of the game, unlike his dad.
“I am quite emotional to be honest”
“He’s not that emotional to tell the truth,” he said. “He’ll be proud with his mates, looking round thinking ‘this is alright’.
“But he’s not too emotional. It’s just a game, he’ll love it. He won’t say too much or tell me he loves me afterwards but he’ll really enjoy it and I’ll look forward to seeing him afterwards.
“I am quite emotional to be honest. Probably not to my dad, I’m not going to go kiss him and hug him. But I’m an emotional person and it’s something I’ve thought about.
“I know I’ve made the right decision. It’s going to be a proud moment to do it for them. And it’s going to be something I look back on for the rest of my life. I’m happy I’ve done it for this.”
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