Clarke eyes future NRL stint


Published: Thursday 9th October 2014 by The News Editor

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Newly-crowned Man of Steel Daryl Clark wants to join the exodus to the NRL but Warrington fans can breathe easy.

The 21-year-old Castleford hooker, who on Wednesday night completed the rare double by being named Super League young player of the year as well as Man of Steel for 2014, has signed a four-year contract with the Wolves but revealed he has ambitions to test himself in Australia.

Six members of the 24-strong England squad – in which Clark was named last Sunday – currently ply their trade in the NRL and fellow hooker Josh Hodgson will stay on after the Four Nations Series to take up a two-year contract with Canberra Raiders.

“I’m a massive fan of the NRL,” Clark said. “I watch pretty much every game.

“I’ve got them on series link and I watch them on my days off through the week.

“One day I would like to go there and test myself but I want to establish myself in Super League first. Maybe in a few years’ time.”

Clark capped a memorable season for his club by scooping the major honours at the Man of Steel awards dinner at Old Trafford cricket club, where his boss Daryl Powell was named coach of the year.

It was a fitting way for him to bow out of his home-town club but, before he can link up with Warrington as the replacement for Michael Monaghan, Clark will face a new challenge on the international stage.

He was always likely to go on tour after his stellar domestic season but is set to be England’s first-choice hooker following the withdrawal of James Roby.

The St Helens hooker, who wants to give his injured ankles time to fully recover in the off season, was on the Man of Steel short-list, along with prop forwards Jamie Peacock (Leeds) and Chris Hill (Warrington), but took time out at the awards night to wish his successor well.

“He wished me luck and said he hopes we go over there and play well,” Clark said. “They are big shoes to fill. He’s been outstanding for a few years.

“I’m just looking to go there and enjoy it. It’s something new for me, I’ve never been involved with the England set-up.

“It’s going to be tough but that’s what you want to do, test yourself against the best players in your position to see where you stand.”

Clark has been training two days a week with the fall-out squad since Castleford bowed out of the play-offs and they will be joined by the seven-strong Wigan contingent involved in Saturday’s Grand Final on the plane to Australia next Tuesday.

Published: Thursday 9th October 2014 by The News Editor

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