WAKEFIELD Trinity’s James Batchelor is relishing the chance to take the next step with England.
The talented second-row is the West Yorkshire club’s only representative on the England Knights’ tour to Australia and Papua New Guinea.
However, unlike most of his team-mates, he has already represented his country Down Under.
“I’ve been before with two years ago with England Academy,” said Batchelor.
“We went for four weeks but all in Australia.
“From that team, Miko Oledski and Danny Walker are in this one now, and there’s a couple who were close like Matty Lees and Jack Walker.
“We stayed in Manly for a week and were meant to play Bulldogs Academy but they pulled out at the last minute.
“Then we went to Penrith and played their Under 20s, had a week on the Gold Coast, played our first Test at Redcliffe and finished off back down in Parramatta playing the second Test at Cronulla.
“So, I know what’s coming there - but not about Papua New Guinea!
“We’ve been told bits and bats and I’ve spoke to a couple of people who have been before with England teams in the mid-90s.
“They’ve told me a few things and I know it will be different but I’m looking forward to it.”
Batchelor missed much of this year with injury - he’s only played five games - but returned late on to make his mark and become a regular in Chris Chester’s Trinity side.
He wants to continue that for England Knights with two games against PNG looming after their training camp in Brisbane.
“It's good to keep that momentum going for another three weeks afterwards and hopefully take it into next season,” he said.
“Especially as I didn't really sort of play at the start of the season so I feel like I've just got into the team and playing every week again now.
“We had that first full Knights training session together (in Leigh) on Wednesday and everything we did was good.
“It was just getting the talk right; when it got a bit hectic people have their own calls from their own clubs.
“But as soon as we get on the same wavelength it’ll be great.
“We only has an hour session out there but already you can see partnerships growing.”
Knights - who have taken a 24-man squad - play Papua New Guinea in Lae next Saturday and finish off with another international against the Kumuls in Port Moresby the following weekend.