Playing for Scotland in the Rugby League World Cup has given North Queensland centre Kane Linnett a taste of representative football and he wants more.
About to start his third season with the Toyota Cowboys, Linnett is eyeing off a place in the NSW Country squad for their annual clash with City in Dubbo on 4 May as one of his goals this season.
The lanky outside back made his international debut for Scotland in the World Cup and played three matches for the Bravehearts, who qualified for the quarter-finals before being eliminated by eventual runners-up New Zealand in front of a huge Headingley crowd in Leeds.
“It was awesome. I had a really good time over there,” Linnett said of his World Cup experience that unfortunately included a rib cartilage injury that he carried into the last eight.
“I’d never really played any rep footy and I really enjoyed it.
“Hopefully I can play a bit more rep footy down the track.
“If I start the season off well I might be able to get into that Country team and just show them what I can do.
“I just need to try and play consistent football like I did at the end of last year – keep on supporting the boys and hopefully Johnno [Johnathan Thurston] and Cootey [Lachlan Coote] can create a few opportunities and I can back them up and finish a few more tries off.
“I just need to keep doing what I know I do well.”
Linnett has proven to be an outstanding signing for the Cowboys, playing 24 matches in 2012 and then all 25 last year in the left centre position.
He recently turned 25 and believes he is just coming into his prime as an NRL player in a well-credentialled backline that should again feature the likes of co-captain Johnathan Thurston, Test and Origin back Brent Tate and Samoa’s World Cup winger Antonio Winterstein.
“I’ve played alongside these boys for a while now and I definitely feel a lot more comfortable,” he said.
“I’m just looking forward to having a big year.”