Rugby League World Cup: Watkins insists England are ready

Kallum Watkins England Rugby League World Cup

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Leeds Rhinos centre Kallum Watkins insists that England can match the physicality of the seven other teams left in the Rugby League World Cup.

The tournament has seen plenty of brutal encounters, with the Pacific Island nations showing their power and strength as the teams enter the knockout stages.

Samoa, Tonga and Fiji have all roughed up the home nations during the group stages, with many fans in the crowd in awe of the tackles on Monday in the game between Samoa and France.

Some of the tackles were ruled illegal and Watkins admits they will need to play with the same passion and determination if they are to overcome France in Saturday’s quarter-final at Wigan.

He said: “It was quite a tough and physical game. They will be quite sore from that.

“But that’s what you expect of all the teams. You’ve got to be that way and you have got to take it as well. That’s what we expect for the weekend and hopefully we can match that.”

Steve McNamara’s side thumped France on two occasions in last year’s autumn internationals and England will head into the game as favourites.

Watkins reckons they will be in for a tough game though and wants his side to improve on their performance in the 34-12 win over Fiji last weekend.

“We know what they’re about,” he added. “They’re physical and have some experience through Super League and the Catalans Dragons.

“With us, we’ve got to focus on what we’ve got to do. Last week the first half wasn’t what we wanted to get to but it was calm at half-time and in the second half we turned it around.”

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