YORK City Knights back-rower Bailey Antrobus has insisted that being with York and James Ford, “a great coach”, have helped him prepare for a potential international debut.

Antrobus was, earlier this week, called up by John Kear to the 21-man Wales squad for their clash with France on Sunday at the Stadium Muncipal d’Albi (3.30pm), having retained his place from the initial 30-man team.

Previously uncapped, the 22-year-old could make his first international appearance as he not only looks ahead to the World Cup in October, but to the remainder of York’s season in the Betfred Championship, in which they are currently third after 12 wins from 15 games.

When asked if being with the Knights had helped him with his preparations for the international level, Antrobus replied: “100-percent. Ford is a great coach, he’s played and trained at the highest level.

“He knows what to bring and how to break down teams and get the best out of us.

“He’s definitely improved my game a bit and prepared me for the France game.”

“(The World Cup is) definitely the main goal for the end of this year, but my focus is playing for York first and taking it one game at a time.

“Hopefully my actions will speak up and get me the call-up needed for the World Cup.”

Since joining the Knights earlier this year from St George Illawarra Dragons, Antrobus has made three starts for the Championship side, with his form across the season having caught the eye of Kear.

Regardless of his international inexperience, Antrobus is excited to potentially make his debut for Wales.

“I’m very keen,” he said.

“That’s been one of the main goals in the last couple of years, since COVID happened.

“Obviously, the World Cup got put off last year. It’s been a good goal and a test to see where I’m at.

“I’ve prepared well. I had a good pre-season back home with St George, that was a really big step up, they’re one of the good clubs in Australia.

“Coming over here I’ve had experience in the last couple of games, I think I’m as prepared as I can be.”

Antrobus has showcased that he is a physical back-rower, happy to both tackle and run with the ball in his hand.

When asked what he thinks he would be able to offer Wales as a player, he responded: “Definitely some backfield carries, getting a lot of nitty-gritty stuff (done) that a lot of people don’t like doing, like the hard carries at the back when it gets tough.

“Hopefully I’ll help out the bigger forwards who do a lot of the tough stuff in the middle that gets a bit un-pretty sometimes.”

Antrobus is able to play for Wales through heritage on his father’s side.

Though born and raised in Australia, he made clear what representing the Dragons internationally means to him.

“I wanted to make the family proud on that side of things,’’ noted Antrobus.

“It’s an honour to represent your country in any sport at any level and I think it would be unreal to give back to the family for all the things they have done for me, especially the family over here helping me out.

“Just representing Dad’s side, for all the things he’s done for me, it’s just great giving back.

“It’s a great honour.”