There was one hell of a battle going on for the England number nine shirt.
Usually former Hull KR man Josh Hodgson would have been in the mix as would now internationally retired James Roby.
This left Leeds Rhinos skipper Kruise Leeming, Warrington Wolves star Daryl Clark, eventually winner Michael McIlorum, late comer and Salford Red Devils star Andy Ackers all fought for the role and former Man of Steel and Castleford Tigers star Paul McShane missed out having been the front runner going into 2022.
However, he has now admitted he expected the call from England boss and former Wigan Warriors coach Shaun Wane.
“If I’m brutally honest I kind of expected it,” McShane admitted.
“I didn’t think my form last year was where it needed to be. I did three weeks with the fall out squad and it rejuvenated me a bit – I really enjoyed that time with the group. But yeah, unfortunately I didn’t make it, but the rest has been good now to focus on this year .”
This comes as he acknowledged that he didn’t hit his straps in 2023
“I didn’t quite hit the straps where I want to be last year so hopefully this year I can get back to my best,” McShane told Castleford Tigers TV.