Hardaker reveals shock at Four Nations omission

Hardaker reveals shock at Four Nations omission

Zak Hardaker was shocked to be left out of England's Four Nations squad but it'll spur him on to win his place back for the World Cup.

The Castleford Tigers full-back was an ever-present for England in 2015 but his name was surprisingly absent from new coach Wayne Bennett's first national squad.

The 25-year-old had endured a disrupted season which he ended on loan from Leeds Rhinos at Sydney club Penrith Panthers.

He says the axing has made him even more determined to bounce back, especially after witnessing England's failure to reach the Four Nations final.

"I expected to be in there, to be fair," he said. "But I think that's helped. I was a bit upset, I was angry with myself because I thought I could have done better.

"Watching the games, how England played, I really thought I could have brought something to the team. I just thought to myself 'I'm not having that, I'm going to put myself into a position where he can't not pick me for the World Cup."

Hardaker believes playing under highly-rated coach Daryl Powell will further boost his hopes after he signed on loan for the Cas Tigers.

"It's a big year for English rugby, with the World Cup being in Australia, and I really want to be a part of that," he said. "That was another reason for me coming to Castleford with Daryl.

"He gave me my first start at Featherstone and he was the one who sorted the deal out for me to go to Leeds. I'll always be grateful to Daryl for giving a little scrawny kid a chance on the wing.

"He knows me, he knows what kind of person I am and he knows exactly what to expect from me."