New Zealand assistant heaps praise on England skipper


New Zealand assistant Kelvin Wright has highlighted England captain Sean O’Loughlin as their biggest threat ahead of the third test.

The Wigan loose-forward scored the final try of the first test to secure England victory, whilst also impressing as the Kiwis levelled the series in the second showdown between the two teams.

Although Wright, who is also assistant coach at New Zealand Warriors, admitted that England have a number of dangerous players at their disposal, he believes that the England skipper provides the biggest danger going into the third test.

“There’s a number of outstanding, world-class players,” said Wright.

“But I think it would be tough to go past Sean O’Loughlin. He’s an outstanding football player. He can do all the tough stuff, tough carries, take all the tackles but he’s got such great ball playing ability.

“He leads them very well. But they’ve got great players across the park; Brett Ferres has had a great two tests and they’ve got plenty of big boys up front too.”

Victory over England would see New Zealand win the Baskerville Shield for the first time, and Wright believes it would be up there as one of New Zealand’s finest achievements.

“I think for the circumstances and the history of our results here would mean it would have to be ranked right up there if not at the top.”

“It’s been a long time since we won a test series here, it’s a tough place to come, especially with the circumstances around it with a few young guys playing their first series. England are an outstanding, world-class team, so if it wasn’t at the top it would be right up there for us.”