Elliott Whitehead’s move to Canberra Raiders next season means the final game of the 2015 International Series will also be his last game on home soil for a while and he is looking to make it a memorable one by beating New Zealand at the sold out DW Stadium on Saturday November 14 (12am Sunday Australian Time).
Whitehead, who moves from Catalans Dragons to the NRL in 2016, has been a consistent selection in the England pack so far during this series after earning his first cap in the Four Nations last year. Finding his feet pretty quickly and bonding well with the other players, he has enjoyed his time in camp and is wanting to earn some silverware at the end of a long five weeks.
“I’ve really loved being here and starting games for England is one of the things you work hard for all season. I hope to keep my place in the squad for this final game,” said the 26-year-old.
“It was a learning curve at the beginning, picking up the new plays and working with different players, but now I can’t wait to get out there each week and get involved in more attacking play. Hopefully a few tries will be created on Saturday for me and the lads.
“We’ve all got each other’s backs here. Sometimes people jump out of the structure we have, but everyone around is willing to scramble and shut down any threat. Liam Farrell came up with a great tackle on Kevin Proctor on Saturday. This shows you that we all want to work for one another. If any mistakes are made we know we’ve got someone to cover for us.”
Whitehead has played over 170 games for Bradford Bulls and Catalans Dragons in Super League, but now he is taking on a new challenge and following his England team-mate Josh Hodgson to the Australian capital of Canberra to ply his trade with the Raiders.
“It would be amazing if we can get the win on Saturday before I head off to play Rugby League Down Under. Signing off with a bit of silverware would be really nice,” said Whitehead.
“My mum and sister will be in the crowd at DW Stadium. They come to every game. All my friends have been in touch too to say they will be watching the match on the television and will be cheering me and the rest of the team on.”
The final and deciding game of the series at DW Stadium, Wigan on Saturday November 14 (1.00pm) is now sold out. Fox Sports 1 will have a live broadcast of the game at 12am, Sunday November 15.
This story first appeared on England RL.