YORK City Knights winger Ben Jones-Bishop has lauded the impact that internationals can have in growing rugby league ahead of his return to action with Jamaica.

Jones-Bishop has been named in Jamaica’s 21-player squad which faces England Knights at Castleford’s Mend-a-Hose Jungle on Friday evening (7.45pm).

Having seen the World Cup, originally scheduled to being this month, postponed amid coronavirus fears from Australia and New Zealand, the return of internationals is hugely welcomed by Jones-Bishop.

Having played three times for his country, the Knights star is a major advocate of the international system and is hoping to add more caps to his name shortly.

“It was frustrating last season because we thought we’d have an international window in the season but it didn’t happen, with domestic games being run alongside it,” he said.

“As a sport it’s important because it is a different attraction. Hopefully by playing these games we can raise that profile.

“We’re building a bit of a following in West Yorkshire with games at Castleford and Featherstone.

“It will be a great occasion because the last time we played the Knights, it was vibrant and there was a great atmosphere.

“We’re looking everyone to get everyone from that community down and make a good day of it.”

While gutted to be competing in off-matches rather than the sport’s flagship competition this autumn, Jones-Bishop is trying to put a positive spin on the current predicament.

“Like I’ve said before, it’s a massive disappointment that there’s no World Cup this year,” added the 33-year-old.

“But we’re not going to dwell on it. We’ve got games this year and it gives us more time to build into the World Cup next year.

“We can now build that cohesion in the squad.

“We’ll try and take the positives out of this situation. We’ve got international rugby league back and I’m looking forward to it.”

It is almost two years since Jamaica were last in action, coincidently against England Knights.

Jones-Bishop hopes that the Reggae Warriors can display their progress since the 38-6 defeat they fell to at Emerald Headingley that day.

He said: “Although we missed out on games last year, we’ve been building well.

“Our last game was against the Knights and it will be good to see some players with another year under their belts in the Super League and Championship.

“It’s always good when we get together and it’s a great environment to be in.

“We’re looking forward to the game and putting in a good performance.”

The England Knights, the development squad to Shaun Wane’s team, will show several changes to the team that triumphed over Jamaica in Leeds last time out.

Among those alterations are two players who represented for York this year.

Mikey Lewis and James McDonnell both appeared on loan for James Ford’s side earlier this season and their performances at the Knights and their respective Super League parent clubs, Hull KR and Wigan Warriors respectively, have earned them international recognition.

Jones-Bishop added: “They’re both very good players as we saw during their time at York.

“James is very hard-working and tough. He carries well and defends well.

“And Mikey is a little magician isn’t he?” he laughed. “So who knows what he might pull out of the bag.

“We missed out when Mikey was recalled and you saw what he did with Hull KR towards the back end of the season.

“He’s a very good player so we’ll have to be on our guard.

“I’m looking forward to coming up against them.”