Hill ready for epic tussle with Aussie forwards

Chris Hill insists he has no qualms getting stuck into the Aussies on Friday.

The England ace will lead from the front in the World Cup opener against the defending world champions and has prepared for all-out war in the middle of the field.

Growing up watching the game as a youngster, one of Hill’s fondest memories was watching Jamie Peacock go toe-to-toe with Willie Mason after the Aussie forward had flattened Stuart Fielden with a cheap shot.

On the eve of England’s match against the Kangaroos, Hill admitted he would have no hesitation getting involved in a similar situation should the Kangaroos look to intimidate the English.

“They always like a bit of biff and we’ll see when it comes to that,” he said.

“Sometimes it boils over, that’s just the nature of the game. We’ve seen it in the past. We’ll wait and see, but it’s a fiery game with plenty of passion and that’s what we’re looking forward too.

“I think all the forwards will have targets on their back. That’s where they’ll come and where they like to come. They’ve got a good pack like we have so I think that’s where it’s going to be won.

“It will be an interesting game but there will be a target on everyone’s back, it’s England against Australia, isn’t it?”

Hill’s memories of watching England and Great Britain lock horns with the Green and Gold are detailed, although, on the most part, they included the pain of defeat.

“You’re up watching them, there’s a bit of a time difference, so you’re setting your alarm up to watch.

“We’ve been close way too many times and not got over the line, but we’re going in very confident.

“That’s the rivalry we should have. There’s that mutual respect for what we do, but we want the rivalry, it makes it exciting and to kick off the World Cup with it is fantastic.”

With a bumper crowd expected at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, hostility towards the England camp will be at an all-time high.

“I think that’s what the Samoan test was for mid-year,” Hill said.

“That was very hostile in Campbelltown. I think we had about 50 to 100 fans there that got swallowed up in their fans. It was a good crack for us and the main reason we did it. The majority of the boys were involved in that and know what that atmosphere is like. We’re ready for that.