HULL FC winger Tom Briscoe hopes firing his club to Wembley will also thrust him back into Steve McNamara’s World Cup plans.
By his lofty standards, the England wideman has not had the greatest of seasons with rumours about his future looking like they may have affected his confidence at times.
Briscoe is out of contract at the end of the season and, having turned down Hull’s offer, there is much speculation about his eventual destination.
Leeds Rhinos have gone on the record saying he won’t be joining them while a move to NRL side Cronulla Sharks has apparently fallen through.
However, Wigan Warriors are in the market for a winger with Pat Richards returning to Wests Tigers while there is even talk a switch to French rugby union could be in the pipeline.
Briscoe himself refuses to be drawn and is merely concentrating on tomorrow’s Tetley’s Challenge Cup semi-final against Warrington Wolves – and winning back his international spot.
The 23 year-old lost his place to Wigan’s Josh Charnley for the autumn internationals and was again overlooked for last month’s Exiles game which is, understandably, concerning with the World Cup looming.
A return of just 10 tries is perhaps no great surprise given Hull have enjoyed such success down their right side with rookie winger Tom Lineham and teenage centre Ben Crooks contributing a total of 36 between them alone.
However, Briscoe has scored in each of the last two games – a trademark surge at Bradford last Friday and a crucial score in the Challenge Cup quarter-final win in Perpignan – to point towards shoots of recovery.
“I was obviously disappointed not to be playing in that last (England) tournament but hopefully I can push on at the end of the year and give him (McNamara) no choice but to pick me,” he told the Yorkshire Post. “I want to be playing in the World Cup and the way I’ve got to go is to play well towards the end of this season.
“That’s the aim. Obviously, I’ve not scored many this season but I’ve two in the last two and hopefully that can carry on against Warrington. Tries come with opportunities and, unfortunately, I’ve not had that many opportunities this year.”
The Featherstone-born player – who featured in Hull’s 2008 Challenge Cup final loss to St Helens when aged just 18 – insists his confidence has not been dented.
“I’ve not really thought about it,” he maintained. “This season I’ve just concentrated on doing what I do best and that’s getting involved in yardage, taking carries and taking a bit of the load off the forwards. When I have had chances I’ve scored and I can take confidence from that.”
Another eye-catching performance like the one he delivered last time Hull faced Warrington will do plenty to remind McNamara of his quality. Briscoe, up against prolific former New South Wales and Australia winger Joel Monaghan, scored twice in the 26-16 win at Halliwell Jones Stadium in May, the last time their opponents suffered defeat.
Hull’s hopes were improved yesterday when Australian stand-off Daniel Holdsworth successfully negotiated training to confirm his place in the starting line-up after a three-game absence due to a calf injury. Prop Chris Green is out but fellow front-row Liam Watts has shrugged off the ankle injury suffered at Odsal to take his place in the side.
Warrington, meanwhile, have included England scrum-half Richie Myler who has been injured since June.