South Sydney Origin star Damien Cook has declared his desire to play in the World Cup for Australia despite doubts hanging over the Kangaroos participating in the England-based event.
The Australians are yet to officially commit to the Cup, which will be played across Great Britain for five weeks from October 23.
The ARL Commission is reportedly highly unlikely to give the Kangaroos the green light to compete as it has concerns around player safety.
World Cup chief executive Jon Dutton couldn’t guarantee that Australia would compete in the tournament, although he remained hopeful the World champions will play.
Damien Cook won’t pass up the opportunity to play at a World Cup. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Cook, though, is happy to travel to England for the Cup, even if it means he has to leave behind his family following an already full-on NRL season inside a Queensland-based hub.
“Look, it is going to be a long time away from home, but I’m not passing up the opportunity to possibly be a part of the World Cup that is for sure,” Cook said.
“The opportunity to play in a World Cup if I was selected I’d want to be a part of it.
“I understand they have to go through the right things to make sure they protect the players, but if it is a chance to go to the World Cup and I’m picked, I would be wanting to go over there.”
Until then, Cook is focused on South Sydney’s run to the finals and potentially a premiership.
He believes the Rabbitohs are perfectly placed sitting in third position with seven rounds remaining in the regular season.
“I think we are building nicely,” he said.
“We understand that there are the top two sides in the competition, but I personally believe we are the best of the rest and we are playing some good footy.
Damien Cook with wife Courtney and daughter Willow. Picture: InstagramSource:Instagram
“There are a few little things we have to pick up on with and without the ball, and we’ve got to play more consistently, especially when we are coming up against the better sides.
“But I have no doubt that us playing our best footy will give this competition a real good shot.”
In a further boost for the Rabbitohs, and all NRL clubs, the players’ families have received the green light to join them inside the team’s Queensland hub once they complete their quarantine.
Cook believes addition of loved ones is a major win for the players.
“It is obviously awesome news,” he said.
“Once they get on that plane and land, I’ll be really excited and counting down the days. It has been a long period with Origin, and it has been just over a week since I’ve spent time with my daughter.
“I really appreciate what the NRL has done to make this happen to allow all the families to go through the quarantine just so they can be with the players.
“A lot of the boys here will benefit from that from a mental health side of things, and they will love having their family’s support here as well.”
Originally published asCook wants to play in World Cup
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