‘I want to bleed for England’: Roosters star Victor Radley explains the motive behind his SHOCK decision
‘I want to bleed for England’: Roosters star Victor Radley explains the reasons behind his SHOCK decision to leave New South Wales and the Kangaroos to play for England… but insists he STILL loves Australia
- Victor Radley will play for England at the upcoming Rugby League World Cup
- Sydney Roosters star has ruled himself out of competition for NSW and Australia
- His father Nigel moved to Sydney from Yorkshire in the 1980s
- Radley was part of New South Wales’ extended roster for Origin II last month
Sydney Roosters star Victor Radley has revealed he wants to “bleed for England” after deciding to turn his back on the kangaroos and NSW to represent the country where his father was born.
Radley announced the shock decision on Sunday, confirming he had been agonizing over his future before deciding to play for England in the forthcoming Rugby League World Cup, which begins in England in October.
“There was a feeling in my chest, I couldn’t look away. It’s years of Yorkshire blood in me and it’s coming out,” Radley said Daily Telegraph.
Victor Radley will represent England at the Rugby League World Cup in October
“I made this decision because I want to bleed for England.
“I love Australia, I love this country, but I had to choose one. All I know is when the ball goes off, no matter the jersey, I go hard.
The 24-year-old’s father, Nigel, was born in Yorkshire before moving to Australia and revealed that a sense of connection with his roots was key to his decision.
“I grew up English with my father, I worked on a building site where everyone was English and I love English people, fans,” he added.
Radley was part of the New South Wales roster for Origin II but did not make the team
“I love playing the World Club Challenge there. It hits me home, playing for England, in front of English fans.
Radley’s surprise decision effectively rules him out of the competition for Australia and New South Wales going forward, as players cannot switch between Tier 1 countries – Australia, New Zealand and England.
However, current rules allow players to switch between countries at different tiers, which has allowed a variety of NRL stars to represent countries such as Fiji, Tonga and Papua New Guinea.
Radley had been in the frame for a Blues jersey before, only to be denied through early injury or suspension.
The Chooks man said he has no regrets about turning his back on the kangaroos and the blues
However, New South Wales adviser Greg Alexander believes Radley might not have signed for England had he had the chance to play for the Blues
The suspension was in the extended squad for New South Wales’ impressive 44-12 win over Queensland in Game 2 in Perth last month but didn’t make the team.
Blues adviser Greg Alexander believes Radley might not have signed for England had he had the chance to play for New South Wales.
“Excluding yourself from Origin is a massive decision […] Playing for the Blues might have changed his decision to play for England,” he said.
“That’s the decision he made. We’ll see how it develops.”