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Sam Tomkins says England will have to improve drastically ahead of their opening World Cup match against Australia following a humiliating defeat at the hands of Italy on Saturday.
The friendly clash was designed to put the finishing touches to England’s preparations for Saturday’s opening game and also build confidence within Steve McNamara’s side.
England were left stunned as they slipped to a 15-14 defeat against Italy and Tomkins says the performance was not good enough and if anything will have given Australia more confidence.
Australia coach Tim Sheens watched from the stands in Salford and Tomkins admits he must be rubbing his hands after witnessing a poor England display.
“They’ll think they’ll have an easy week, won’t they?” he said. “If that’s how they’re thinking, that’s fine.
“They’re the best in the world and we’re under no illusions how tough next week will be. A massive amount needs fixing up.
“We’re not daft. There are some smart blokes in there and we know we didn’t perform as we planned to.
“We’ve put a bit more pressure on ourselves and we’ll see how we go next week.”
Tomkins says they were feeling good going into the game following a two-week training camp in South Africa and believes they will bounce back at the weekend.
“It’s a very disappointing day for us,” Tomkins added. “We know that’s not good enough and we’ve got to improve drastically before next Saturday.
“We know the game in the big picture doesn’t mean anything but it’s not the way we wanted to start our campaign this year and we’ve got a great opportunity to bounce back next week.”