Wildcats winger Ben Cockayne has paid tribute to his teammates and the clubs coaching staff after being named in the England Elite Training Squad today.
The in-form former Normanton Knights junior was the only new name in the 30-man squad selected by Steve Mcnamara, a reward for his fine form not just at the start of this season, but spanning much of 2012 in which he topped the try scoring charts for the club.
Cockayne sits second in the overall Super League standings for tries scored and metres made, the highest placed Englishman in those charts and has become the first ever player from the club to be named in the Elite Training Squad.
Whilst it is his own efforts that have earned him the spot amongst the cream of English rugby league talent, Cockayne was quick to point to the contribution of those around him when speaking to SLTV.
“There are a lot of people from Wakefield who have got to be acknowledged for this,” said Cockayne.
“First of all the coaching staff for giving me the chance to get back into Super League. Rich (Agar) and Webbo (James Webster) and the rest of the coaching staff have been unbelievable to me and given me a bit of a free role in the team which I think has been beneficial to my game.
“The players around me I can’t thank enough. Without them I wouldn’t be here today. There’s a lot of people that I really need to thank and I’ll do that in my own time personally, but for Wakefield to get someone in the England training squad is a big deal and just shows the strides that we’re making as a club.”
The 29-year old was asked about his chance of making the Elite squad in last week’s press conference ahead of the trip to France where he admitted it was something that had crossed his mind given his belief that he was in the best form of his life.
Now that his performances have been rewarded, he is aiming to maintain his form and keep hold of his place in what is a massive year for international rugby with the World Cup later this year.
“I still can’t quite believe it. Just to be recognised for how I’m performing at the minute is a dream come true and I never expected that this would happen for me. It’s great that I have been recognised and I’m buzzing, can’t believe it.
“I knew I’d been playing reasonably well but to get that call was just unbelievable. Now I’ve got in the squad I’d like to keep my place for a start. I know that the squad will get trimmed down later on in the year so I just want to keep my form up for Wakefield and hopefully something will come from it.”
You can watch the interview with Cockayne in full on Wildcats TV, courtesy of SLTV.
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