Wayne Bennett had been rumoured to be ready to select a few Australian players who qualify through family ties.
Instead, Bennett has gone with 24 ‘true’ Englishman for the forthcoming Four Nations tournament, and the Aussie claims it was his decision, based entirely on form, saying: “They were my decisions only.
“I was considering any player that was eligible for England, whether they were Australian-born, Australian-based or simply English.
“It didn’t faze me in any way but the speculation got out of control. I wasn’t told who to pick.”
The Brisbane Broncos coach insists he knows everything he needs about his squad, despite has only met the English-based players in his squad once during June. after scouring tapes of their matches.
He said: “I have my own job at Broncos but I see a fair bit of Super League so I know what is going on.
“You always have selection dilemmas but my number one priority was to get what I felt have been the best players since this season started.
“I also tried to pick people playing regular games, and whose form has been consistent and not taking people on reputation.’
Danny Houghton the Man of Steel winner wasn’t selected but Bennett brushed aside questions about not selecting him.
He said: “I didn’t know I was supposed to pick someone if they won an award. My job is to pick what I think are the best players.”