EORL CRABTREE is closing in on his dream of playing in a Test match against Australia.
The 27-year-old Giants prop is now back in full training after undergoing minor knee surgery three weeks ago and has immediately come into contention for Saturday’s Four Nations clash against the Kangaroos at Wigan.
Crabtree missed both the warm-up game against Wales and last Friday’s tournament-opening 34-12 win over France, which was always going to be the case.
But the Huddersfield front-rower is already impressing in training and making his intentions clear.
“Playing against Australia has always been a massive dream of mine,” said Crabtree, pictured.
“When you’re involved in sport you always want to test yourself against the best, and obviously the tests don’t come any bigger in rugby league than facing the Australians.
“And I feel ready to face that test. My knee is fully healed now. It feels strong and I know I’m fit to play.
“To be honest, I could have played against France, but I’d miss some of the training sessions leading up to the game, so it was always going to be a bit of a non-starter.
“But I’ve been able to take a full part in all the sessions so far this week and I feel fit and strong.
“I just hope I can do enough this week to prove to Tony (Smith) I should be included. I believe I offer something a bit different, something the Australians won’t have faced before.
“It’s obviously going to be tough to get a spot, because we’ve got a fully-fit squad and quality forwards in it, but I do genuinely believe I can do a very important job for the side.”
England are seeking a victory this weekend or against New Zealand at the Galpharm the following Saturday to book themselves a place in the Four Nations final on November 14.