VICTOR Radley is ready to graduate from the school of hard knocks and help England to World Cup glory after snubbing Australia.
The Sydney Roosters star could have gone for a place in the squad of his birthplace but honouring Sheffield-born father Nigel won out.
And after hearing from his old man what life for him was like in Sheffield, he knows he has to do it tough.
Loose forward Radley, expected to make his international bow in Friday’s warm-up clash with Fiji, said: “Dad’s still got a thick Sheffield accent – he’ll be over for the game against Greece in Sheffield but the game’s at United and he’s a Wednesday fan!
“He hasn’t lost it a bit and when he gets over here, he’ll just get a little bit thicker when he’s with his mates.
“He’s very proud of being Sheffield. He reckons it was a hard place growing up, he’s told me about that a lot, and he reckons he’s a hard man – but I’d probably still flog him!
“I thought about which country to play for and thought I want to play for England.
“My club coach, Trent Robinson, said to me, ‘It’s marriage, it’s not a girlfriend thing.’ I sat on it a few months but that feeling of wanting to play for England never faded away.
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“So I went with my gut and my chest. My head was saying I could have a chance of playing State of Origin but I had a feeling in my chest I couldn’t look away from.
“I thought there must be just generations of Yorkshire blood that just came out and I decided to go for it.
“A lot of people were telling me to do otherwise, even my head sometimes was saying, ‘Is this the smartest decision?’
“But I didn’t get here from making decisions in my head in the first place! I backed my gut.”
Radley, who has the ‘Victor the Inflictor’ tag in the NRL, has already seen English culture after meeting former clubmate, now international colleague, Ryan Hall.
Just as typically English would be the rugby league side flopping on home turf, with many tipping Shaun Wane’s men to lose the opener against Samoa on Saturday week.
The 24-year-old, however, is adamant he has joined a group that can rule the world and is already convinced Wane is the man who can lead them to glory.
He added: “There’s a lot of good sides here but we’re a good side. We’re going to go win the World Cup, that’s the plan.
“My first phone call with Waney he told me that. That’s when I knew I’d made the right decision. It’s exciting we get Samoa first up and go hard. It’ll be good.
“He’s a hard man, so I don’t think he’ll be disappointed if I try and flog a few people.
“I don’t really get nervous but on the flight over I was a bit but as soon as I met them, I knew exactly what they were going to be like.
“They are funny and everyone takes the p*** out of each other and that’s what I’m about so it’s great.”
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