PAUL JACKSON is aiming to ease the pain of missing out on the play-offs by booking a World Cup flight to Australia.
The Giants prop suffered the heartache of being dropped from Huddersfield’s first Super League play-off side at Hull a fortnight ago.
But the 29-year-old knows some of that disappointment will be forgotten if he helps Scotland beat Wales next month and earns himself a first trip Down Under in 2008.
“Missing out on the club’s first play-off appearance was very disappointing,” said Jackson, whose place on the bench was taken by second-rower Steve Snitch.
“All year, we were aiming to get in to the play-offs, and we all wanted to play in it.
“And I felt my form in the games leading up to the play-offs against Warrington, Wakefield and Hull KR had been good. I’d been out for a month before that with a knee injury, so I felt strong and fresh.
“So, to be told by Jon (Sharp) I wouldn’t be featuring at Hull was a tough thing to hear.
“But I don’t hold it against him at all, in fact I would hate to be a coach and have to take decisions like that. He explained the reasons fully to me as to why I missed out and I accept them.”
He added: “There was certainly no point sulking over it. That would have achieved nothing.
“It’s just made me more determined to come back stronger next season.
“And, by that stage, I hope some of the pain of missing out on the play-offs will have been eased by preparing to go to Australia.
“I’ve never been there before, so the thought of going with Scotland in the World Cup would be a dream come true.
“I was delighted to be called into the Scotland squad, and to help us beat Wales next month would be the icing on the cake.”