Rob Burrow insists England are fully focused on shooting down Rugby League World Cup 2013 favourites Australia when the two nations meet in Cardiff on Saturday.
Rugby League’s greatest rivals kick-off the 14-nation tournament beneath the closed roof of the Millennium Stadium at 2.30pm when Burrow hopes inside knowledge could be the key for England.
Five of England 24-man squad ply their trade in the NRL and Burrow believes the experience that the Burgess brothers, Sam, Tom and George, Gareth Widdop and James Graham have acquired Down Under will be invaluable as England look to banish the blues from their shock defeat by Italy’s Azzurri.
“We were bitterly disappointed and quite embarrassed at times against Italy,” said Burrow.
“The way they played didn’t come as a huge shock because they are a team full of NRL players. We knew they were going to be tough opposition and the result does give us an indication of just how much we need to improve.
“Some of the lads who play over in the NRL have given the rest of us some hints and tips about the Australian guys. Obviously we know how good they are anyway but its little things that they do on the pitch which can be invaluable and hopefully give us the edge.”
The 31-year-old Leeds Rhinos scrum-half says the squad is targeting major improvements on Saturday and believes that the atmosphere in the camp is just right to help achieve that.
“We’re very thankful that last Saturday was only a friendly and that it wasn’t Australia out there on the pitch,” he said. “I don’t think the result will have any effect on our preparations though, we’re focused on our next game.
“There is a real club feel about the camp, which has been developed over several years all building up to this World Cup. Everyone has gelled really well and on a personal level it’s a joy to play with the talent we have.
“We want to beat Australia. All games are won and lost as a team so we want put the Italy match behind us and if we play to our best then we’re a match for any team.
“I just want to first and foremost a part of the team; it’s a very strong squad so there are no qualms if I’m not picked. If I can play to my full potential then hopefully I’ll be a great asset.”
By Josh Barrowcliff