Centre Ben Hellewell hopes his eye-catching performances for Scotland in the World Cup will boost his chances of gaining a regular Featherstone Rovers place next season.
Hellewell, who joined Rovers from Warrington Wolves 12 months ago on a two-year deal, has played in all Scotland’s three matches against Tonga, Italy and USA in Group C. He scored two tries against Italy.
The 21-year-old made only seven first-team appearances for Rovers in 2013 and ended the season on loan at Barrow Raiders.
“I came into the World Cup tournament hoping to prove myself,” said Hellewell, who will link up again next season with Featherstone’s new head coach John Bastian, who was his former coach at Warrington Academy.
“I want to use the World Cup as a stepping stone. It was hard to get into the Featherstone team last year as they were a good side but it’s making me feel better that I can shine against better players.
“Hopefully, I can take that confidence and use it to get into the Featherstone team next season.”
Unbeaten Scotland have an agonising wait to see if Thursday’s 22-8 win against USA at Salford is enough to take them through to the quarter-finals.
They continued their remarkable campaign with a victory that was more emphatic than the score suggests but it was not enough to overhaul Italy’s superior points difference and Italy will clinch a last-eight duel with New Zealand if they beat Tonga at Halifax today (Sunday).
Bradford-born Hellewell, who qualifies for Scotland via a grandfather from Aberdeen, said: “It is a strange situation having to wait until Sunday to know if we’re through. It will be tense. We’ll have fingers crossed, everything crossed.”