AFTER his Great Britain disappointment, Jake Trueman has targeted a big season with Castleford Tigers - and making England’s side to face world champions Australia.
The gifted young stand-off played for England Nines in Sydney during the autumn and also went on to tour New Zealand and Papua New Guinea with the Lions.
Coach Wayne Bennett had publicly stated that the 20-year-old rookie would get his chance in the final outing against PNG.
But uncapped Trueman was controversially overlooked again as the winless tourists suffered a shock defeat - their fourth in a row - in Port Moresby.
He said: “I was gutted. He said I was going to play but then he changed things early in the week.
“I can understand that; he wanted to keep the same half-backs and couldn’t risk changing it.
I was gutted. He said I was going to play but then he changed things early in the week. I can understand that; he wanted to keep the same half-backs and couldn’t risk changing it.Castleford Tigers’ Jake Trueman
“It was all about that result that game so I can understand him wanting to stick with (Gareth) Widdop and (Jackson) Hastings. But I was gutted.”
The RFL has still yet to confirm whether the out-of-contract Bennett will carry on in charge of England after the dismal tour and the veteran Australian has come in for heavy criticism.
England host the Kangaroos in a three-Test series at the end of this season ahead of next year’s home World Cup.
“I think he is the right man,” said Trueman, whose Castleford side are in friendly action at Widnes Vikings tomorrow.
“I can understand from the outside looking in results weren’t good enough but he’s a great coach and I know that from what I saw every day.
“It’s definitely the aim for me to get in that England squad this year.”
Trueman is looking forward to linking up with Danny Richardson at Wheldon Road following the 23-year-old’s arrival from St Helens.
They are viewed by many as a potential England half-back pairing of the future.
Trueman said: “His chances were limited last year at Saints.
“But the year before Dan was in the Dream Team so he hasn’t become a bad player in one season.
“I think you’ll see the best of him this year.”