Harrison: 1992 Lions can inspire England in Melbourne

Bradford Bulls assistant coach Karl Harrison believes that England can take inspiration from the 1992 Great Britain Lions team when they face Australia in Melbourne on Sunday in the 2014 Four Nations.

The 1992 Lions remain the last British side to beat Australia in Melbourne and Harrison played at prop in two of the three-Test series. The first Test in Sydney was lost but Great Britain cruised to a 33-10 victory in Melbourne.

However they were cruelly denied a series win, losing 16-10 in the third and final Test in a closely-fought game in Brisbane.

Now England have a chance to put themselves in the history books and Harrison, who recently joined Bradford Bulls as assistant coach, says that there is no better feeling than beating the Aussies on their own patch.

“It was the first tour to Australia I had ever been on so I was really excited, I got to play in the second Test on that memorable night when we beat them. It felt like there were 60,000 Great Britian fans in that stadium,” said Harrison.

“We played extremely well in bad conditions: the atmosphere was incredible. We were a bit rusty in the first Test but as the tour went on we got stronger and we were so unlucky to lose in that last test.

“As an elite player to go on a tour like that is what you dream of, you’re in the wrong profession if it’s not.”

Harrison has been impressed with Steve McNamara’s young squad and says that the steely determination they showed to beat Samoa will stand them in good stead on Sunday.

“Samoa are an extremely tough team to beat and I think the England players showed a lot of character to go on and win,” said Harrison.

“They are a young team and there are some fairly inexperienced lads in there that have really turned up. Steve will look back at the Samoa game with them and assess where they need to improve.

“You need to be strong to beat Australia, they are a really physical team and England need to reflect that in the middle, they’ve got to fight fire with fire and I think Steve has a team that can do that. I really believe that they have what it takes to win on Sunday.”

England v Australia at AAMI Park, Melbourne, will be broadcast live on BBC Two on Sunday November 2 from 4.30am. Four Nations highlights will be broadcast on BBC Two at 5.00pm on Sunday November 2.