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Byline: IAN LAYBOURN Rugby League Reporter

WARRINGTON forward Ben Currie is reaping the rewards of sacrificing a trip to New Zealand. The 25-year-old second-rower agreed to sit out the Great Britain tour in the autumn in order to have a rare full pre-season of training following a raft of serious knee injuries either side of the 2017 World Cup.

It meant the England international was able to hit the ground running for the Wolves, who aim to make it three wins from their first five Super League games when they go to Leeds tonight.

"It's been three or four years since I last had a full pre-season," Currie said. "I came in a little bit earlier as well so I could have some time off to get married in between. Pre-season went perfect for me. I got three months of training, fitness and strength under my belt and you could really see it, the way I was training at the back end of pre-season.

Leeds "I felt back to how it used to be and I'm happy with how I've started the season so hopefully it's only going to benefit me."

Betfred Headingley, KO 7.45pm " Along with John Bateman, now an established international, and Stevie Ward, the current Leeds captain, Currie had been earmarked as a future international seven years ago when he was invited by then head coach Steve McNamara to join the Enland elite training squad as they prepared for the 2013 World Cup.

A succession of knee injuries derailed his international ambitions and it was not until the 2017 World Cup that he finally made his England debut.

Rhinos v And, after sitting out the Lions tour, Currie is expected to be back in contention for the Ashes Series against the touring Kangaroos in October and November, with an eye on the 2021 World Cup.

League, tonight, (Sky "It's in the back of my mind," he said. "I want to focus on Warrington and get back playing to where I should be. If I tick that off and get that right, the England stuff will come into it at the end of the year but it's not something I'm focusing on."

Ward, yet to make his international debut, is still sidelined by the effects of a head knock he suffered in the Rhinos' opening defeat of the season by Hull but Currie will find himself up against a fellow England international, Joe Greenwood, who has joined Leeds on loan from Wigan.

The former St Helens second rower, who had a brief spell in the NRL with Gold Coast Titans, will make his 100th Super League appearance.

Warrington are boosted by the return of skipper Chris Hill, the England prop who has missed the last three matches through suspension.

Leeds Rhinos v Warrington Betfred Super League, Headingley, tonight, KO 7.45pm (Sky Sports)


Warrington Wolves' Ben Currie tackles Toronto Wolfpack's Sonny Bill Williams during last week's Betfred Super League victory at the Halliwell Jones Stadium MARTIN RICKETT

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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:IAN LAYBOURN Rugby League Reporter
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 28, 2020
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