DELIGHTED debutant Jermaine McGillvary told team-mate Zak Hardaker he was ready to “fight” him for Roger Tuivasa-Sheck’s shirt after England sealed an historic series win over New Zealand.
The Huddersfield Giants winger delivered a fine performance at Wigan and then made a beeline for Kiwi full-back Tuivasa-Sheck, the youngster recently nominated for the Golden Boot.
McGillvary, 27, explained: “I told him he’s my favorite player to watch in the NRL. He’s going to be the next big thing in the game.
“He’s 22 and already achieved a lot but he’s so great to watch. I’d be afraid to go one-on-one with him as that step of his would send me straight back to Huddersfield; he’s got the best feet I’ve ever seen.
“(England full-back) Zak said ‘don’t be getting Roger’s shirt’ – but I said ‘mate, you’ll have to fight me for it’. When I said that he left it alone! There’s not a chance it will be on eBay – I’m going to frame that with my debut shirt and my first cap. He’s a lot younger than me but he’s a superstar in my eyes.”
McGillvary had to bide his time for his belated bow, waiting until the fourth and final game of the autumn, but he made his mark showing all the hallmarks of what earned him Dream Team selection with Huddersfield in 2015.
New Zealand tried to unruffle Super League’s top try-scorer from his first carry but he handled everything that came his way.
“They were saying a few words to me but that’s part of the game and the boys told me to expect it as it’d been going on all series,” said McGillvary. “I can’t put into words really what it meant to play in that game. It was just amazing.”