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Ben Westwood ready to take on Warrington Wolves teammate Ben Currie when England face Ireland
BEN Currie can go to war for Ireland against England on Saturday knowing that Warrington Wolves teammate Ben Westwood is keeping an eye on him.
The two back rowers, one a rising talent in the European game and the other among the world’s best for many years, could square up in the heat of battle as the rival nations seek much-needed Group A points at Huddersfield’s John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday.
“He’s doing my head in, him – a bit of a whipper-snapper looking to take my spot at Warrington,” said Westwood with a big grin on his face.
“Only joking – he’s a good lad and I’m really proud of how he’s playing and how he played for Warrington in his first real year in the first team.
“I think this experience in the World Cup will do him good and next year with Warrington will be massive for him.
“I’ve no doubt Benny Currie will be changing his status back from Ireland to England in a few years’ time and he will be part of this group because I have that much confidence in him.”
But wily old Westwood will be looking to keep the athletic six-footer quiet in Huddersfield, along with the other fellow Warrington players in the Irish line-up – Tyrone McCarthy and James Mendeika.
He does not want the support for England to be quiet though in the 22,000 sell-out crowd.
“It’s great for England to have the support that we need and it definitely feels the nation is 100 per cent behind us.
“We’ve just got to play well and make them proud.
“Ireland have some quality players in their ranks, including those from Warrington, and we’re expecting a tough test.”
n Read about England and Ireland’s opening World Cup matches on pages 108 and 109.