Webb excited about possible Kiwi return

Leeds Rhinos star Brent Webb has admitted that he is excited about the possibility of making a return for New Zealand in this year’s Gillette Four Nations tournament.

Webb was one of three players from the engage Super League named in a provisional 45-man squad by coach Stephen Kearney as the World Champions face their first serious test after shocking the world of Rugby League last year in the World Cup Final.

Webb missed out on a place in the World Cup squad as he recovered from back surgery but the full back is now itching to pull the black jersey back on again. "It was very disappointing to miss out last year but I was so proud of the guys and what they achieved. I was pleased to be included in the squad because it means you are in the minds of the selectors. You can feel a bit isolated over here but it was a boost to find out I was in the squad.

"There will be extra pressure on us this year because we are World Champions but hopefully we can kick on and really make the most of the opportunity we have. When you are the top team, everyone wants to knock you off, we feel that week in, week out with Leeds so it won’t be anything different from that. Everyone raises their game so that they can say they beat the best and that is the challenge you have to face.

"A few of the guys have retired from last year but that is always going to be the case, it just means there is a chance for younger guys to come in and we can start building towards the next World Cup and retaining our title," added Webb.

New Zealand will join Australia, England and France in the inaugural Gillette Four Nations this Autumn and Webb feels that expansion is key to the success of Rugby League worldwide. "I think it is a great concept with France coming in, it will give them exposure to playing at the top level and we have seen from the progress that Catalans have made in recent years that that can only make you better. I think it is great that there is a Pacific Nations tournament going on as well because we have to help the guys in Samoa, Tonga, Fiji and Papua New Guinea if we are going to grow the game worldwide," added Webb.