England kick off the 2021 Rugby League World Cup in opposition to Samoa on Saturday and we check out some speaking factors and staff information forward of the conflict in Newcastle. Plus, a stay up for the night recreation between Australia and Fiji…
Wane ‘determined’ to get going | Younger’s residence from residence
Shaun Wane has confronted an extended than anticipated wait to guide England on the World Cup, however now it’s lastly right here the four-time Tremendous League Grand Ultimate-winning head coach is happy to get caught in.
The Wiganer was appointed as Wayne Bennett’s successor in 2020 however needed to wait till the next 12 months to educate the nationwide staff in a match because of the Covid-19 pandemic bringing worldwide rugby league to a halt.
Considerations over the virus led to the World Cup being postponed 12 months as nicely. Wane’s frustration at these delays, nonetheless, is now being channelled into making certain England kick off Group A and the event with a win over a star-studded Samoa at St James’ Park (2.30pm).
“I have been bored for the final two years,” Wane, whose facet warmed up for the event with a 50-0 win over Fiji final Friday, mentioned. “I’m determined for this event however my job as head coach is to make the difficult quite simple.
“I have to prioritise what is going on to assist us get a win in opposition to Samoa. We carried out okay in opposition to Fiji however it is a completely different problem this weekend in opposition to a very good Samoan staff with six gamers from the NRL winners.
“They have huge athletes, man for man they’re 10-15 kilos heavier than us. We’re not as huge however we’re very athletic and we’ve issues in our recreation that we imagine can hassle Samoa.”
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A crowd of round 45,000 is anticipated at St James’ Park for the match, which might make it the best-attended opening recreation in Rugby League World Cup historical past, and it is going to be an event to savour for England new boy Dom Younger particularly.
Younger, who coincidentally represents the Australian metropolis of Newcastle with the Knights within the NRL, made a flying begin to his worldwide profession final Friday by scoring a try to offering two assists within the win over Fiji.
Though born in Wakefield, the 21-year-old has household from the North-East who’re all proud Newcastle United supporters. However whereas enjoying on the residence of United maybe doesn’t imply as a lot for Chelsea fan Younger, he can’t wait to be a part of the match the place he’s set to begin as considered one of England’s wingers.
“My mum’s facet of the household are all from Newcastle,” Younger mentioned. “It is type of bizarre actually, particularly once I’m in Newcastle in Australia – and a number of the suburbs have related names as nicely.
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“They’re all Geordies, all proud United followers, and I have been to the stadium just a few occasions. It is huge and it’ll be an amazing environment – you recognize what English followers are like.”
Samoa play down expectations for opener
A fast take a look at the bookies’ odds for Saturday’s opening recreation will let you know it’s Samoa, quite than the hosts, who’re slight odds-on favourites to come back away victorious.
Which may come as a shock to the informal fan, however very similar to their Pacific Island brethren Tonga, the Samoans have introduced collectively a staff full of NRL expertise who’ve eschewed overtures from Australia and New Zealand to characterize the nation.
That features 5 of the Penrith Panthers staff who received this 12 months’s NRL Grand Ultimate and two extra from runners-up Parramatta Eels, however skipper Junior Paulo has cautioned it is not going to be that easy in opposition to England
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“That might be fairly the result for us nevertheless it’s all about preparation,” Paulo mentioned. “The boys have gelled fairly nicely however, figuring out we’ve not performed a number of footy collectively, it is all about constructing that connection.
“They’ve a top quality ahead pack and in that warm-up recreation they definitely powered by the center. It is a problem we’re undoubtedly trying ahead to.
“We all know we have a top quality outfit and we’re seeking to hit the bottom operating this week.”
Samoa haven’t performed collectively since June 25 after they eased to a 42-12 victory over the Cook dinner Islands within the mid-season internationals and head coach Matt Parish has warned to not anticipate the perfect from his facet in opposition to England.
“We’re under-done for the primary recreation,” Parish mentioned. “England performed a trial match whereas our boys had been all on a airplane.
“I am assured we’ll get higher because the competitors goes on.”
England (from): Sam Tomkins (captain), Tommy Makinson, Kallum Watkins, Herbie Farnworth, Jack Welsby, George Williams, Tom Burgess, Michael McIlorum, Luke Thompson, Elliott Whitehead, Victor Radley, Dom Younger, Morgan Knowles, Matty Lees, Mike Cooper, Chris Hill, Mike McMeeken, Marc Sneyd, Kai Pearce-Paul.
Samoa (from): Josh Aloiai, Stephen Crichton, Braden Hamlin-Uele, Chanel Harris-Tavita, Oregon Kaufusi, Spencer Leniu, Danny Levi, Jarome Luai, Tyrone Might, Anthony Milford, Josh Papalii, Junior Paulo (captain), Jaydn Su’a, Joseph Suaalii, Hamiso Tabaui-Fidow, Izack Tago, Martin Taupa’u, Brian To’o, Kelma Tuilagi.
Meninga utilises Aussie squad for Fiji conflict
World champions Australia kick off their try to retain the Paul Barriere trophy in opposition to Fiji at Headingley on Saturday night (7.30pm).
Apart from 2008, after they had been overwhelmed by New Zealand within the closing, the Kangaroos have saved a agency maintain on the World Cup since 1975 and are favourites to retain the title in England this 12 months.
Head coach Mal Meninga, a participant on the victorious groups in 1988 and 1992, took the step of naming his matchday 17 on Tuesday, with seven gamers set to make their debuts for Australia attributable to those that had been concerned within the latest NRL Grand Ultimate being rested.
“That is a particularly sturdy staff and fits what we are attempting to attain over the entire event,” Meninga mentioned.
“The Grand Ultimate gamers is not going to play in opposition to Fiji, whereas plenty of the gamers we’ve named haven’t performed in weeks. It is necessary to provide them match time as we take a look at our mixtures.
“The entire gamers who is not going to play in opposition to Fiji will play the subsequent match in opposition to Scotland [on Friday, October 21].”
Australia: James Tedesco (captain); Josh Addo-Carr, Latrell Mitchell, Valentine Holmes, Murray Taulagi; Cameron Munster, Daly Cherry-Evans; Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, Ben Hunt, Jake Trbojevic, Angus Crichton, Jeremiah Nanai, Cameron Murray.
Interchange: Harry Grant, Reuben Cotter, Pat Carrigan, Jack Wighton.
Fiji (from): Sunia Turuva, Miteli Vulikijapani, Kevin Naiqama (captain), Semi Valemei, Maika Sivo, Sitiveni Moceidreke, Brandon Wakeham, King Vuniyayawa, Apisai Koroisau, Tui Kamikamica, Viliame Kikau, Josh Wong, Lamar Manuel-Liolevave, Penioni Tagituimu, Jowasa Drodrolagi, Ben Nakubuwai, Taniela Sadrugu, Netane Masima, Isaac Lumelume.
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