BRAD BILLSBOROUGH showed his commitment to Germany by playing 75 minutes of their defeat to the Netherlands with a broken hand.

Billsborough, who qualifies for Germany through his Berlin-born mum, suffered the injury inside five minutes of the 20-18 Griffin Cup defeat to Netherlands.

But having been starved of action since North Wales Crusaders’ League One season was ended after just four games back in March, Billsborough was not going to be dragged off the field in Zwolle.

“When I got the news the game was still going ahead I was buzzing,” said Billsborough. “You don’t realise how much you actually miss the game until you don’t do anything for a while so I was over the moon to get back on the field.

“But it was very tough game. I broke my hand in four places and I’m waiting on an operation.

“I played 75 mins with a broken hand I hardly touched the ball other then last tackle to kick the ball as I was the only half-back and I was just a voice and the field directing the lads about.

“I kicked three out of three goals, but I didn’t have much involvement with the ball as I couldn’t catch it because I was in that much pain.

“I think my voice on the field helped the lads out just gutted we didn’t get the result.”

Billsborough was desperate to play his part in a German win as his adopted nation tried to mark the passing of Simon Cooper by lifting the Griffin Cup.

German rugby league founder, player, coach and former president Cooper passed away earlier this year after a long, brave and determined battle with aggressive blood cancer, Myeloma.

Half-back Billsborough is honoured to pull on the Germany shirt after Cooper helped get him onboard.

“To play international rugby league is an unreal feeling,” said Billsborough. “Every time I play for Germany I get really emotional.

“We’re pretty much a new international team and I’m happy to be apart of it.

“A big reason of me becoming involved was Simon Cooper, who got in touch with me to play for German when he found out my heritage got me down playing,

“Recently he sadly passed away and I’m gutted we didn’t get the win for him, but it’s an annual game against Holland so we definitely will be bringing it home next time!”

Billsborough’s impact on the German national team has certainly been a big one. In 2018 he became the country’s youngest ever captain.

He added: “It’s a massive honour to captain Germany, especially at my age.

“It’s developed me as a player taking control of a team, growing my confidence and helping me out when I play at North Wales Crusaders.”

Billsborough is now looking to get his hand fixed and be ready for when Crusaders’ 2021 League One season gets underway.

Back for a second season after 2020 was ended after just four games, Billsborough said: “I can’t wait get going now we’re pretty much same team as last year, so we can hit the ground running straight into pre season.

“My main focus is getting my hand ready so I can be fit for pre season and try cement a spot for the 2021 pre-season.”