“Tell me he doesn’t love playing for England!” – James Graham fires up over the critics of Victor Radley’s England inclusion

England got off to the perfect start in the Rugby League World Cup by beating Samoa 60-6 at St James’ Park with Victor Radley receiving the Player of the Match award.

It was the perfect way to silence the critics for Radley whose inclusion in Shaun Wane’s squad was questioned this week by Great Britain and England legend Garry Schofield.

Australian-born Radley qualifies to play for England through his dad, who is from Sheffield, with the 24-year-old turning down any representative honours with New South Wales throughout his entire career to play for his dad’s homeland.

In making that decision, ‘The Inflictor’ will also likely sacrifice a lot of money through the duration of his playing days, with England coach Wane convinced by a number of phone calls with Radley that he was fully committed to playing for the ‘Wall of White’.

That was proven today as Radley put in a superb performance in picking up the Player of the Match award, and BBC pundit and former England captain James Graham fired up after the game hitting back at those who questioned the Sydney Roosters man’s inclusion.

“There was criticism of the choice of Victor Radley to play by certain areas of the press,” said Graham. “You just have to look at the way he went out there and performed today.

“You tell me he doesn’t love playing for England? He (Schofield) still goes and says it. You tell him and ask him if he (Radley) doesn’t love playing for England!”

Speaking on the England performance as a whole, Graham could not hold back his joy at watching the superb showing against Samoa.

Many people had written Wane’s side off before the game, with the bookies even making Samoa favourites to win the match in Newcastle, and the statement win has the former Saints man excited about what’s to come.

“I think what matters now is where do England go from here? Are you starting to believe? Because I know I’m believing now,” said Graham.

He continued: “How good is that now? The fans are going to get behind it. So, we’ve got to believe we can go all the way.”

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