TOP OF THE PROPS

Irish Daily Mirror - - SPORTS - By Gareth Walker

JOE GREEN­WOOD re­vealed Eng­land’s prop idols told him how to deal with his in­ter­na­tional de­but to­mor­row – do not think.

The Wi­gan back rower will cap a re­mark­able six months when he plays in the third Test against New Zealand, hav­ing re­turned early from Gold Coast Ti­tans to lift a Su­per League ti­tle.

He will be on the bench at El­land Road and come on in the un­fa­mil­iar po­si­tion of prop, with his in­ter­na­tional team-mates ad­vis­ing him suc­cess rests on keep­ing it sim­ple.

“All the for­wards have taken me un­der their wing and told me where I need to be,” said Green­wood.

“They said just to stay in the mid­dle of the park and the ball will come to me, you don’t have to fol­low the ball.

“If you do you’ll use much en­ergy you’ll so be knack­ered af­ter two min­utes. They told me just to act like a prop. I asked how props act, and they said, ‘Don’t think’.

“I thought, ‘OK, that’s easy enough’. “You have to be more clued up as a back rower be­cause you have the out­side backs there with a bit of pace, you have to use a bit of knowl­edge to find the weak­est one or a bit of space. “With props ba­si­cally they said just cart the ball up, win your play-the­balls and make your tack­les.” Green­wood says skip­per James Gra­ham (left) has been a par­tic­u­lar in­flu­ence this week as Eng­land look to com­plete a se­ries white­wash. He added: “Jam­mer’s get­ting close to his half cen­tury of caps and I’ll be mak­ing my de­but lin­ing up with him.

“He’s been help­ing me out with lit­tle ex­tras and where I need to be on dif­fer­ent plays on the field as a prop – I’m get­ting there now.”

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