Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell believes his players can use their international snub as a motivational factor in the 2016 season.
Surprisingly none of the Tigers players played in any of England’s four autumn internationals despite the team finishing in the top five in the last two seasons.
Luke Gale was included in the squad, but was not chosen to make his full England debut while Michael Shenton, who played for his country last year and was again picked in the Super League Dream Team in 2015, had to look on as a player known more as a second row forward played all the matches against New Zealand in his centre position.
Tigers head coach Daryl Powell, a former assistant to England boss Steve McNamara, was puzzled by the non-selection of Gale and Shenton and disappointed Castleford did not have any international representation.
He said: “I was disappointed for Luke Gale that he didn’t get in with England.
“I thought he deserved to play, he had an outstanding season. I suppose the difficulty was that I don’t know how much of that Steve McNamara saw so he’d be relying on some of the guys that were over here.
“Obviously they got the job done so you can’t argue too much with that final game, but for me I thought he was the first pick.
“Galey can come back in and use it as motivation towards next season and starting the season off as he finished the last one, being as superb as he was then.
“As much as it won’t seem like it now, he’ll benefit from it in terms of motivation.
“I’ve had a couple of chats with him since the international games and I think that’s exactly what we’ll get from him. He’s a real competitor.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how it spurs him on because he’s already pretty competitive as it is.
“He’s just got to get after it and prove he’s the right man for the team. I think he is. I think there is more improvement in him and if he can find that in himself and we can help him to develop that he will be a shoe in for next year.
“Michael Shenton is another one for who I was disappointed, especially playing a back rower out of position. Bateman did a reasonable job and the last game was his best I thought, but Shenny’s been excellent as a player and a captain for us and was another one who’s been unlucky not be in the England team.
“As a team, as a club I’d like us to use that as motivation. You want your players to be playing on the highest stage.
“I think our players over the last couple of years have proved they are capable of that.
“I was disappointed that we didn’t have anybody who took the field for England and I see that as a bit of a motivation for us as a coaching staff.
“You want your players to be playing at the highest level. We work as hard as we can to make sure they are good enough to do it.”