Gareth Widdop open to England defections

Gareth Widdop open to England defections

England pivot Gareth Widdop has welcomed moves by new coach Wayne Bennett to usher in controversial new selections.

Bennett has spoken to Josh and Brett Morris as well as Trent Hodkinson, all of whom qualify to play for England under current eligibility rules.

The Morris brothers have both represented Australian and Hodkinson has played for NSW.

Despite that the trio are receptive to the idea of playing for England.

St George Illawarra star Widdop said on Wednesday he didn’t have an issue with them playing for England in the Four Nations tournament at the end of the year and the next World Cup.

“I heard about it yesterday and had a bit of a laugh about it, what ever happens happens,” he said.

“It is up to them to make a decision and what ever decision they do make we as a team will go with that.”

Widdop and the NRL’s other English players caught up with Bennett earlier this year when he was announced as the new coach.

“It was a great opportunity,” he said.

“It was a great chance to catch up with all the England boys and meet Wayne and chat with him about what to expect at the end of the year (in the Four Nations).

Former Leeds star Zak Hardaker arrived in Sydney to join Penrith on Tuesday as the latest Englishman to ply his trade in the NRL.

“It is great to see Zak out here,” Widdop said.

“He has been tremendous over there in England. He has won all the awards, he is a good player and he wanted to come out and test himself and now has the perfect opportunity to to do that.

“It is good to see another Englishman out here.”

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