Leeds Rhinos captain Kruise Leeming has opened up on the ‘hurt’ of his England World Cup omission.
The hooker was not included in Shaun Wane’s 24-man squad for the tournament which was announced last week, with Michael McIlorum and Andy Ackers instead favoured for the no.9 role.
Speaking to BBC Radio Leeds, Leeming said: “To be honest I was gutted when I didn’t get in, it really hurt me. The phone call really hurt. I do want to get away, I do want to relax and spend some time with my family.
“But if I got a call and I could be in that squad playing in a World Cup I would bite someone’s hand off for it, so it might work in my favour going forward because I might be fresher, maybe, but yeah it has hurt me not getting in the World Cup.”
Despite not getting the chance to be part of the competition on home soil, Leeming says he will still support Wane and England throughout the tournament, while also respecting the reasons by the reasons for his omission.
“I’m totally behind Shaun Wane and his decision,” Leeming said. “He feels that’s the best team to go forward and that’s his opinion.
“Just because you’re not in a World Cup and you’re not in his plans doesn’t mean you’ve not been good enough.
“It’s just the way he wants to play and the avenue he wants to go down with the team. The hookers he’s picked must suit his way of playing.
“He knows Micky McIlorum because he’s been at Wigan with him, so he’ll have a lot of trust in him, a lot of faith in him and Andy Ackers has had a great season, so yeah, I’m still really behind England and I hope they go on and win it.”
You can hear the full interview with Leeming on BBC Radio Leeds this evening at 6pm.