Gildart set to play for Italy at World Cup

Widnes Vikings 26-28 Wigan Warriors

Wigan centre Oliver Gildart will play for Italy at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, if he is not selected for England.

Gildart has yet to hear anything from Wayne Bennett about a potential call-up and faces tough competition for a place in the centres from Kallum Watkins and Mark Percival.

The 20-year-old qualifies for Italy through his grandad and has been in communication with the Azzurri, who are keen to recruit the rising star.

“I’ve been speaking to Italy and they have said they would love to have me on board,” Gildart told Sky Sports.

“They know my priority lies with England but they’ve said ‘if you’re not selected, you’re more than welcome to come’. I really appreciate that.

“I’ve never met any of the Italian side of my family but my grandad keeps them up to date with how I’m doing. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to meet them one day.

“I’ve not heard anything from England, so I’ve just got to keep getting my head down and hopefully something will come of it. It would be good for me to go to the World Cup.”

Despite spending two months of the season injured, Wigan academy product Gildart has still managed to register eight tries and five assists in this Super League campaign.