SADDLEWORTH Rugby League star Joe Greenwood is one of five uncapped players named in the 24-man England squad that has been selected for this autumn’s internationals against France and New Zealand.
Austerlands-raised Greenwood, the former St Helens back-row forward, only recently returned to the Super League this season with Wigan after a stint with Gold Coast Titans in Australia.
Greenwood, 25, who began his playing days at Saddleworth Rangers, has impressed as he is striving to guide Wigan to Grand Final glory. They have a home semi-final against Castleford Tigers.
Wigan coach Shaun Wane admitted Greenwood has been even better than he thought he would be.
He said: “I’m impressed with him, more impressed than I thought I would be if I’m honest.
“He’s calm when I need him to be when things get hectic. We don’t have many big players, but Joe’s one of them and he carries the ball strongly.
“He’s taught me that he has the big game temperament, even though he’s not played in many during his career.
“And he really impresses me off the field. I like his manner, he’s a nice kid and speaks well. He’s got into what we’re about at training too.”
England play France at the Leigh Sports Village on Wednesday October 17, then a three-Test series against New Zealand – at the KCOM Stadium, Hull, on Saturday, October 27; at Anfield, Liverpool, on Sunday, November 4; and at Elland Road, Leeds, on Sunday, November 11.
• Greenwood’s elder brother James scored the opening try as Hull KR beat Widnes Vikings 30-0 to preserve their Super League status.