England's McGillvary on song for final
He has dancing feet, but England winger Jermaine McGillvary can sing as well and likes to belt out tunes on the paddock before he wreaks havoc.
That is the amusing revelation from England halfback Luke Gale ahead of the World Cup final against Australia about his side’s winger.
McGillvary has been one of the stars of this World Cup and has scored seven tries in five matches.
Dashing former Indian opening batsman Virender Sehwag was known for humming and singing to himself in between deliveries to get himself in the zone and to clear his mind.
McGillvary is of the same ilk.
“He’s just a bit strange if I am honest,” Gale grinned when asked about the England gun.
“He sings to himself just before he is about to make a carry and I can hear him singing.
“I don’t know what he is singing, but it works for him.
“In the Aussie game he was taking a carry off the scrum and I said to him after ‘were you singing?’ and he said ‘yeah, I like to sing to keep my focus’.
“But there’s no singing from me. I’m not a great singer.”
McGillvary spoke on stage at a World Cup luncheon on Wednesday about how his form for England has been inspired by the faith coach Wayne Bennett had shown in him.
He said he was disappointed in his 2016 form for Huddersfield but Bennett had told him he wanted him in the England side and that he rated him highly.
McGillvary hasn’t looked back since taking his place in the Four Nations tournament at the end of 2016.
Bennett’s faith was vindicated when the 29-year-old was on a four-man short list as a finalist for the Golden Boot Award.
McGillvary also told a tale at the luncheon about how Bennett called him ‘Jamie’ in the early days in the England dressing room.
The late Jack Gibson famously coined Brad Fittler’s nickname ‘Freddy’ when he initially called him ‘Fred’ in the NSW sheds back in 1990 when Fittler was on NSW debut.
The world came to know all about ‘Freddy’, as they are now about ‘Jamie’.
Gale admits to being blown away by his form in this tournament,
“You know how big and how strong he is but these last few games he has taken himself to the next level,” Gale said
“He has been outstanding and I couldn’t heap any more praise on him.”
Kangaroos fullback Billy Slater said both McGillvary and his fellow winger Ryan Hall had impressed him after the opening World Cup encounter between the two sides in Melbourne.
“They are both hard to handle and big strong lads,” Slater said.
“We are going to have to make sure our kick chase is the best it has been all tour and handle them with a lot of numbers.
“It will be quite physical because that is how they run the ball.”