Rugby League World Cup: New faces to give England lift

England team Rugby League World Cup

Share this story

Claim your Bonus
Get 100% up to SGD100 Bonus on your First Deposit

England coach Steve McNamara hopes the changes that he has made to his team will see them overcome a tough Irish side in Saturday’s Rugby League World Cup clash.

The hosts need to bounce back following their 28-20 reverse at the hands of Australia last time out and the boss has made three changes for the encounter with the men from the Emerald Isle.

Canterbury Bulldogs forward James Graham, Wigan’s Sean O’Loughlin and Leeds winger Tom Briscoe have been brought in to the starting XIII, with Josh Charnley and Lee Mossop left out and Sam Burgess banned.

Some of McNamara’s selections have been criticised by the media in recent times but the England chief feels that the new faces will give his team a lift.

“It gives us a chance to look at a couple of other members of the squad,” he said. “It suits us to have a consistent selection from last week with a couple of tweaks.

“We have 24 very good players and the additions to the squad this week will give us some impetus and freshness in the team.”

Ireland also lost their first match in the showpiece event with a 32-20 defeat to Fiji, and they will be desperate to pull off a shock victory in in Huddersfield.

And McNamara insists that he and his charges will be taking nothing for granted against a side containing players from the top leagues in the sport.

“Ireland will be very good,” he added. “They have quality in the side from the Super League and the NRL. They will be better for their performance against Fiji and if we take them lightly we will come unstuck.”

Leave a comment