England star Jermaine McGillvary has lavished praise on Hull FC duo Jake Connor and Jamie Shaul after the national side’s 44-6 victory over France.
Wayne Bennett’s men eased to a comfortable win over the French at Leigh Sports Village, with Shaul making his England debut by starting at full-back. Connor made his first start in his second international match as he partnered Richie Myler in the halves.
It was the first time McGillvary had played with Shaul, who he has been impressed with over the years playing against him in the Super League.
The Huddersfield Giants star says he has gained a further appreciation for Shaul’s talents after playing alongside him, particularly relating to the FC back’s fitness.
“Jamie Shaul was outstanding. He is one of those players you watch from an afar when you play against but he is class,” McGillvary told the Mail.
“He’s even better to play with. His fitness levels are off the charts and he gets around the park. His speed in and around the ruck is great. He’s an outstanding player and I’m glad to have played alongside him against France.”
Whilst Shaul’s talents were a little more of a surprise to McGillvary, fellow FC team-mate Connor was exactly what the England winger remembered.
McGillvary played with Connor week in week out when they were both at Huddersfield and they remain good friends, with the Giants player happy to see his former club team-mate thriving on the international scene.
“I’ve known Jake since he was coming through at Huddersfield. He was that cheeky lad in the academy but he’s got bags of quality,” McGillvary added.
“The talent was always there with him and I’m just happy for him to be getting the chance now with England. He’s showing everyone what he can do on the big stage.
“He’s still a good friend of mine and he comes round now and again when he’s not too busy signing autographs. He’s a good kid.”
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