IT WAS only a brief encounter and undoubtedly a physical one but Castleford Tigers’ proud Adam Milner believes he now has something to build on at the elite England level.
The loose-forward came off the bench in Sunday’s pulsating second Test against New Zealand at Anfield for just his second appearance with the national side.
He was quickly into the action against a ferocious Kiwi pack and certainly did not look out of place.
However, Milner was replaced soon after as Wayne Bennett brought his senior forwards back on to continue what ultimately was a successful fightback against one of the world’s best sides.
Relentless England eventually prospered 20-14 to clinch the series ahead of Sunday’s final encounter at Elland Road.
Milner admitted: “It was awesome to be out there. I got a taste of it. Ten minutes is better than no minutes, I think!
“It’s something to build off for hopefully a decent international career for myself.
“It was good to get a taste of it and I’ll remember that experience from this game for the rest of my life.”
The 26-year-old debuted against France last month but conceded Sunday was a step up from anything else he had experienced before.
“You can see by my nose; I think I only did two or three carries and I came off with a bloody one,” he added. “New Zealand are a tough, physical team.
“But that’s what I like, that’s what I enjoy and that’s why I play the game. It’s good to be a part of it and good for the boys to get another win.”
England showed real fortitude and spirit to recover from 14-6 down with barely a quarter of the game still to go, Tommy Makinson’s remarkable treble of tries proving the key.
But Milner, who came in for the injured captain Sean O’Loughlin, insisted: “We showed that last week.
“Oliver Gildart turned on the magic then and this time it was Tommy Makinson.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a player dominate a game as well as he has done there. He was involved in every decision and I’m certainly happy he’s in my team rather than theirs.”
The Wakefield-born player now hopes to retain his place for the final game at the home of his beloved Leeds United.
“It’ll be good to be back home,” he said.
“I know what Test footy is all about now and hopefully I’ll get a few more minutes on Sunday.
“I’ll take this experience and move onto next week.”