Castleford Tigers’ young star Daryl Clark has been tipped to be an international hit in the forthcoming Four Nations tournament in Australia and New Zealand.
England coach Steve McNamara believes 21-year-old Clark can be a real surprise package and has the potential to be English rugby league’s next superstar to follow in the footsteps of Sam Burgess, who is now going into rugby union.
Clark, who is in the running for both the Steve Prescott Man of Steel and the Super League young player of the year awards announced tonight, has been called up to the England team for the first time and will head off down under next Tuesday.
England boss McNamara is hoping for big things from the player who has come through the Castleford academy ranks and acknowledged that there is scope for a new superstar to emerge.
He said: “That mantle is there for the next English superstar to come and attain.
“We’ve already got some players who are fighting very hard for that.
“The performance of James Graham throughout the whole of the season and again in the Grand Final suggests he is right up there with the very best players in world rugby league.
“But I think the emergence of another young English talent playing in Super League is there to be seen when you look at the performances of people like Daryl Clark.
“He’s probably a little bit unknown (in Australia) – there’s one or two people in the know who know a fair bit on him.
“But the players who will come up against him in Australia and New Zealand aren’t going to know too much.
“There is opportunity for Daryl – or someone like him – to take that (Burgess mantle) on.
“With his form and pace and the energy he’ll bring to the group, he will be really good in the tournament.”