WAKEFIELD TRINITY winger Ben Jones-Bishop is relishing the chance to represent Jamaica in his hometown of Leeds - and work with the legendary Jason Robinson.
Former Leeds Rhinos star Jones-Bishop is set to feature for the Reggae Warriors when they play England Knights in a one-off international at Emerald Headingley on October 20.
He was part of the side that helped beat USA last autumn to see the Caribbean island qualify for the 2021 World Cup - the first time they have reached the global tournament.
Facing the Knights will be their biggest test yet and the 30-year-old - who has Jamaican grandparents - said: “It’s great exposure.
“England Knights will be a very strong team, young and enthusiastic, so it’s great for us and it’s great it’s at Headingley.
“The pricing for it is good, too, so there should be plenty there.
“It will be a great occasion and hopefully a good atmosphere.”
Jamaica’s rise to his level has been one of the sport’s feelgood tales in recent times.
With the World Cup arriving here in three years’ time, there is hope the national team can tap into the potential support of hundreds of thousands of British Jamaicans and help further establish roots in the sport.
Since qualification, Super League players such as Huddersfield Giants’ duo Jordan Turner and Michael Lawrence have joined the Reggae Warriors, while media mogul Alex Simmons and Robinson are working as operations directors.
Jones-Bishop said: “The work behind the scenes by the team- Alex Simmons, Glenn Morrison, Jermaine Coleman and Jason Robinson as well - has been good.
“They had a meet-up during the last Challenge Cup round but I couldn’t get to it as we were playing Saints.
“But there’s a lot in the pipeline that will be coming out in the near future and it is great.
“We [Jamaica] are building a lot of momentum and we’re looking forward to that game at the end of the year.”
Securing the services of former Great Britain winger Robinson - who also hails from Leeds with Jamaican heritage - is a major coup.
Jones-Bishop said: “I followed him from when I was growing up obviously at Wigan and that try he scored in the (1998) Grand Final - although against Leeds...
“And then what he’s gone on to do on the international stage and rugby union as well - winning the World Cup - he’s a huge asset to have on board.”
Before that, though, Jones-Bishop is concentrating on sorting Trinity’s ailing form.
They have won just once in the last nine games ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Wigan Warriors and they crucially need to find some form having lost 36-16 at home to Castleford Tigers on Friday.
“It is tough at the minute,” admitted the player, who has eight tries in 24 matches this term.
“With seven games to go every game is a big game and it’s about clawing two points somehow.
“I thought last week we were pretty good for 60 minutes and probably got taught a lesson on being clinical.
“They took their chances well and we didn’t. We are working hard, but that’s a given.
“At times you need to work smart and if we can put an 80 minute performance together I am sure points aren’t far away.”
Wigan are also looking to bounce back after Friday’s 32-10 defeat at St Helens.
They were struggling near the foot of the table two months ago but have since climbed into the play-offs places.
“They have been on a good run, apart from last week,” added Jones-Bishop.
“We know it is a tough place to go and get a result, but we will go out there and give it our best.
“On our day we know we are capable of beating any team in the comp’, but it is making sure it is our day.
“It is a big task, a big challenge, but we will go there and try and get those two points.”